FORT LEE, Va. – Members of the Sustainment Center of Excellence welcomed Brig. Gen. Michael B. Lalor and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason E. Decker as the new Ordnance Corps command team during a combined induction ceremony here July 13 in the Ordnance Training Support Facility.
Maj. Gen. Mark T. Simerly, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, presided over the assumption of command/responsibility. Distinguished guests included retired Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters, who served as the 35th Chief of Ordnance; Lt. Gen. Dave Bassett, director of the Defense Contract Management Agency; and families and friends of the incoming leaders. The event was livestreamed on the Ordnance Corps Facebook page.
After passing the organization colors to the new commander, Simerly opened remarks by highlighting the composition of the Ordnance Corps, which is comprised of over 30 military occupational specialties, and the Ordnance School that trains and educates over 100,000 military personnel and DA Civilians annually.
“The initiatives being worked in the Ordnance School … affect and influence nearly 90,000 ordnance professionals throughout the total force as well every unit in the Army. … Every formation in the force needs maintainers, which affects our Army’s readiness and capabilities on the battlefield.”
In his previous assignment, Lalor served as the first-ever commander of the recently activated Army Medical Logistics Command, which was created through Army restructuring in 2018 and was ceremoniously activated to serve as the branch’s primary medical logistics and sustainment command.
“Mike’s efforts as the first commanding general of AMLC will provide long-lasting positive impacts on the sustainment of healthcare operations for the Army and Joint Force,” Simerly acknowledged.
While serving at AMLC, Simerly further pointed out that Lalor led medical support through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He led (the response), providing medical maintenance support for critical equipment including thousands of ventilators and other essential medical devices. He deployed these capabilities throughout some of our nation’s hardest hit areas, reducing down time of life support equipment and making it possible for our medical providers to continue to save lives.”
Lalor’s 26-year career includes multiple deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. During Operation Enduring Freedom, he served as commander of the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and Task Force Spartan.
Simerly also highlighted Decker’s credentials, pointing out that he served as the 916th Sustainment Brigade CSM at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. The volumes that speaks about his leadership capability means he’s a good fit to serve as the corps’ senior enlisted advisor, the CG noted.
“The valuable knowledge and experience he gained in that position will undoubtedly pay dividends throughout the Ordnance Corps and sustainment community.”
Decker also has served in leadership positions with the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; the 305th Quartermaster Company, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; and the 5-7th Air Defense Artillery Patriot, Baumholder, Germany. His deployments include Israel, Greece, Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland and Kuwait.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Simerly reaffirmed his confidence in both Lalor and Decker, noting that they are the “right people at the right time” to serve as the 43rd Chief of Ordnance and 15th CSM.
“They are both exceptional leaders and logisticians,” he continued. “I trust this great command team will always put people first and foster an environment of dignity, respect, diversity and cohesiveness where every member of the team experiences inclusion and equity.”
Keeping his remarks short, Decker began by thanking his family and leadership for their support. He then emphasized how preserving the values of the corps is a “critical key” to the success of sustainment.
“Modernization is paramount as we look to the future, but some things must never change … our values and traditions; the pride and heritage of the Ordnance Corps; and the character, competence and commitment of our Soldiers and those who lead them.”
Decker finished his comments by noting how excited he is to be a part of the organization.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this mission – shaping Ordnance professionals for the future and putting people first to win.”
Last to speak was Lalor. He thanked family members, distinguished guests and various leaders from the sustainment community.
“Thank you for this enormous honor,” he said as looked out into the audience. “The opportunity to lead America’s sons and daughters – to train ordnance professionals and help ensure (they) and our formations have the right materiel and equipment on the battlefield now and in the future – is a huge responsibility and we are ready to go.”
Lalor concluded his remarks by stating he was ready to take on the responsibilities as the 43rd Chief of Ordnance.
“Our ordnance team is ready to attack the mission of training and developing Soldiers, driving change in how we fight as an Army in an era of great power competition, and generating readiness from the strategic support area for our Soldiers and the joint force.”