PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. – The Presidioof Monterey welcomed Col. Varman Chhoeung as the new garrison commander during a change of command ceremony, July. 9.
Chhoeung replaced Col. Greg Ford, who is retiring after 24 years of military service, during a small, socially distanced ceremony at the Presidio’s Weckerling Hall. The post’s new commander said he will rely heavily on what he called the “unstoppable force” that is the garrison team.
“I have been a member of many great teams in the past and I know that this is an outstanding team,” Chhoeung remarked. “As you’ve provided outstanding support to the community in the past, I trust and empower you to continue to do the same.”
Born in Cambodia and raised in Virginia, Chhoeung was commissioned at West Point in 1999 and began his career as an engineer with the 1st Armored Division in Germany. He later passed the Special Forces qualification course and has spent much of his career as a Green Beret in the jungles of the Philippines, the mountains of Afghanistan and the halls of the Pentagon. His most recent position before arriving at the Presidio was as U.S. Army Special Operation Command’s operations officer.
Capt. Rich Wiley, Naval Support Activity Monterey’s commander, who presented Ford the Legion of Merit, called the outgoing garrison commander his friend and a humble servant to Monterey’s military community.
“When you look at what defines a leader, [Ford] has all the traits,” he said.
Before stepping away from the podium, Ford made sure to let everyone know Chhoeung was the best man for the job.
“He’s a proven leader who will take the garrison to the next level,” Ford said. “He and I worked together many years ago and the officer I served with then is even better now.”