FORT LEE, Va. – On February 8, U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michelle M. T. Letcher, the Chief of Ordnance, and Col. Clydea Prichard-Brown, Commander of the 59th Ordnance Brigade, visited the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) at Fort Lee, Virginia, for an oath of enlistment ceremony.
Letcher addressed eight MEPS applicants before they raised their right hands and affirmed that they would defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. She began by thanking them for their commitment to serve and shared her personal experience of joining the Army as an enlisted Soldier.
Letcher and Prichard-Brown, both prior-enlisted Soldiers, saw this visit as an opportunity to inspire enlistees during both an exciting and vulnerable time in their lives. Over 25 years ago, they were in the same position as these enlistees and did not know all they would eventually achieve.
“You can be anything you want to be,” Letcher said as she encouraged the enlistees not to be afraid and to embrace the experience. “As you start your military career, you will be exposed to things you never even dreamed of.”
The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command’s (USMEPCOM) vision of professionals sustaining the quality of our Nation’s Armed Forces links directly to the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps mission to grow and educate professionals who drive change. Sustaining the quality of our Force is ultimately sustaining readiness.
Fort Lee’s MEPS is one of 65 stations responsible for screening and in-processing the next generation of military service members.
MEPS is vital to the Ordnance School’s ability to maintain a healthy force. As the Ordnance School’s leaders, Letcher and Prichard-Brown oversee an annual training load of more than 26,000 students.
Despite COVID-19 limitations, the personnel at MEPS continue to fulfill their mission to evaluate applicants so that the United States Armed Forces remain equipped with exceptional service members.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, enlistment ceremonies at Fort Lee’s MEPS are limited to 10 applicants per session. To reduce traffic inside the building, family members are currently not able to attend the ceremonies. MEPS staff are taking every necessary precaution to ensure that applicants are safe and able to make it to their next destination.
During the visit, Letcher thanked the MEPS staff for overcoming challenges to continue USMEPCOM’s mission.
Letcher explained, “Now that I’m here at Fort Lee watching the training experience, I get to see behind the scenes all the work that goes into building a trainee.”
“I really appreciate all that you do. What you do for the entire generating Force, it takes more than a village, it takes a team of teams,” said Letcher.
After administering the oath, Letcher presented Ordnance Coins of Excellence to the enlistees and several MEPS staff members to demonstrate her gratitude.