FORT BELVOIR, Va. – U.S. Army senior leaders, distinguished guests and members of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) gathered for a change of command ceremony at the Nolan Building, July 16.
Maj. Gen. Michele Bredenkamp, who previously served as the director of intelligence, United States Forces Korea, and deputy director of Intelligence, Combined Forces Command, Republic of Korea, assumed command of INSCOM from Maj. Gen. Gary Johnston.
The change of command ceremony is a homecoming for Bredenkamp, as she formerly commanded the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade, an INSCOM major subordinate command at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
The ceremony’s reviewing officer, Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, U.S. Army deputy chief of staff, G-2, complimented INSCOM’s efforts during her speech.
[Today is…] “A historic day for the Military Intelligence Corps, the Army, the Joint Force and the Intelligence Community as we celebrate here on the grounds of the headquarters of a global, high-impact command that connects and delivers the intelligence and security enterprise in peace, crisis and war, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and without fail," said Potter. "INSCOM has always been an exceptional organization that leaders across the Army rely on to rapidly meet any emerging intelligence need.”
Potter continued, highlighting Bredenkamp’s expertise and tenacity.
“With a well-earned reputation of principled leadership, teamwork and phenomenal Army, Joint and Intelligence Community expertise, there is no better leader to take charge of this global mission than Michele,” said Potter. “In every position she has held, she has not only gained the confidence and respect of her leaders, but she has propelled initiatives forward, with initiative and tenacity, exactly the leader we need as we drive to a (Multi-Domain Operations) MDO-ready and capable Army.”
After taking the podium, Bredenkamp said she is grateful to be back in the INSCOM family.
“As I assume command of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, I am extremely honored and privileged, and more importantly, I am humbled to be back as a part of the INSCOM team and the Army enterprise,” said Bredenkamp. “INSCOM has a strong history with a long legacy of tremendous contributions worldwide. Our global operational intelligence and security mission supporting the Army, Joint, Coalition commands and the Intelligence Community is unlike any other.”
Bredenkamp shared some of her priorities and finished her speech with her commitment to the INSCOM workforce.
“INSCOM will continue to provide unrivaled intelligence support and focus on our people, readiness, modernization and partnerships,” said Bredenkamp. “To the INSCOM team, know that you have my full and unwavering commitment and support. As I assume this great privilege and responsibility to lead and serve you, our people, our Army and our Nation as we take on future challenges together.”
Potter was complimentary of Johnston’s efforts as a leader, mentor and intelligence professional.
“In fact, I have always said that INSCOM is so good at delivering intelligence, maintenance, sustainment, and architectures, that we have grown a generation of leaders who believe that intel just magically happens,” joked Potter. “Well, I’m here to tell you that the magic for the last three years starts and ends with Maj. Gen. Gary Johnston.”
Potter also spoke of the many INSCOM accomplishments under Johnston.
“Gary, know that during your tenure as INSCOM’s commanding general, you had a tremendously positive impact, on not only this command, but the whole of the Army intelligence and security enterprise, the Military Intelligence Corps, the Army, but most importantly on the safety and well-being of all of our Soldiers in harm’s way,” said Potter. “And equally important, you ensured the readiness of our forces to win in competition, to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary at any time, at any place.”
In his farewell speech, Johnston, who is retiring after 34 years of service in the U.S. Army, thanked the INSCOM workforce.
“I would like to thank all the members of INSCOM. You are very special to me and you are very special to our Army,” said Johnston. “Our nation depends on you every day to be prepared to fight and win our nation’s wars.”
Johnston also challenged the workforce to continue to be innovative in the years to come.
“A 10x move is required and INSCOM is at the eye of that effort to be prepared for 2028 and 2035. In order to be ready, we must understand the as-is and to be,” said Johnston. “Make no mistake, we are in competition every single day.”
Johnston ended his remarks by highlighting Bredenkamp and looking to the future.
“The INSCOM mission will continue under the new leadership of Maj. Gen. Bredenkamp. The baton is passed to this incredible leader and there is no doubt in my mind that she is the right person at the right time in the right place to lead INSCOM into the future,” said Johnston. “I cannot wait to see where you take this team.”