SAN ANTONIO – Every day is Earth Day for the U.S. Army Environmental Command, but this year has a special meaning. The U.S. Army Environmental Command traces its history back 50 years and will celebrate its golden anniversary on Nov. 15, 2022, making this a Golden Earth Day for the Army’s one and only environmental command.
On Earth Day 2022, the command celebrated with an organizational get together at a local park on Fort Sam Houston, part of Joint Base San Antonio. It was a bittersweet event. The command members, known as the ‘green eagles,’ bid farewell to their current commander, Col. Ali Masson, and remembered all that has happened over the last two years, within the command.
Just as on other Army organization day celebrations, activities were available for teams to compete, such as corn hole, bocce ball, volleyball, horseshoes, bingo and others. But in addition, folks were on hand pointing out bird nests, beehives and ants to avoid and bird calls to recognize. To this team Spanish moss, isn’t just something that hangs from trees, it becomes a topic of conversation and education.
This one of a kind group spends their days helping others in the Army and outside to understand the link between the environment, the mission, and the community surrounding Army installations. They do everything they can to ensure Army training capabilities are not impacted by environmental requirements or challenges.
“I am so proud to lead this group of quiet professionals. I am overwhelmed by the amount of experience, knowledge and expertise that can be found in the command,” said Col. Ali Masson, USAEC commander. "I feel honored to have been able to spend just two short years here and took every opportunity I found to tell others of USAEC’s value to the Army mission.”
COL Masson received parting gifts from the divisions within the command reminding her of some of the missions the command supported such as ensuring the protection of beluga whales in Alaska, protecting endangered species on Army installations, cleanup of contaminated sites and returning property for beneficial reuse, and assisting the Navy with the drinking water crisis in Hawaii.
“This command’s work touches every facet of Army installation operations, although many who serve, work and live there are never aware,” said Masson. “But when there is an environmental issue in the Army, USAEC is the one called to deliver cost-effective environmental services globally to enable Army readiness.”
“USAEC has been providing environmental solutions for our Army and our nation for 50 years and I hope they continue for another 50, at least,” Masson added.