FORT LEE, Va. – Returning to the place where he was sworn into the military 12 years ago, Hampton native and Army Maj. Cameron D. Webb officially began his new assignment July 9 as the Fort Lee Military Entrance Processing Station commander.
“I’m so humbled by this opportunity,” Webb acknowledged after the 20-minute assumption of command ceremony in which Lt. Col. Laura P. Wood, commander of 12th Battalion, U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, Baltimore, presented him with the station colors.
“I feel privileged and honored to be selected for this position,” Webb further noted. “MEPS processing is crucial because it’s how we get qualified applicants to the services that need them. This process has to run efficiently, and it should be a pleasant experience for those who have chosen to serve their country. That’s how I see my role and responsibility.”
In remarks during the ceremony, Wood discussed the history of military entrance processing, keying in on yesteryear’s problems of inconsistent standards and an environment that many compared to herding cattle.
“The MEPS as we know it today has adopted a red carpet policy of dignity, respect and professionalism toward new recruits,” she then observed “It is a clear shift away from the cattle-call-style treatment (exhibited) in the past. The 21st century MEPS building that new recruits visit today represents a vastly different experience than in decades past.”
Wood expressed “total confidence” in Webb, saying “he is the right leader at the right time” to guide and support the Fort Lee MEPS team. “You’re part of our extended family now. … I know you have the competency, judgement and confidence to listen, understand and take whatever action is necessary to do the right thing. Welcome to freedom’s front door.”
Much of the new commander’s time at the lectern was spent on acknowledgements. He thanked members of the MEPS staff for “one of the warmest welcomes he has received in his career.” His final thoughts, though, were far more poignant.
“I am ready to lead this team,” he said. “We will strive to carry the torch forward for the betterment of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Guardians, civilians and families. I’m not perfect, nor will I try to be, but I take the responsibility of leading, caring and supporting you all seriously, and I know that you’ll keep me honest. Thank you for attending today’s ceremony. I look forward to the road ahead.”
The Fort Lee MEPS has been in operation here since November 2004. Prior to that, it was located in Richmond’s Federal Building.
Overall, the MEPS mission is to “process individuals for enlistment or induction into the armed forces.” There are 65 stations nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The facility at Fort Lee has enlistment responsibility for all 137 counties in Virginia. Fourteen military personnel from four branches of service and 45 government civilians perform station functions that include recruit aptitude testing, medical screening and administrative processing. On average, it inducts about 23,000 new applicants into the six U.S. military services each year,
This is Webb’s second command assignment. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and earned his commission in the Field Artillery Corps upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in May 2009. He deployed to Iraq and Kuwait as a young Army officer. In 2014, after completing the Captain’s Career Course, he transferred to the Adjutant General Corps. He previously commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 30th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), Fort Benning, Ga. Prior to this assignment, he served as the S-1 for 25th Division Artillery Brigade. Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.