Earth Day cake
1 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Ali Masson, USAEC commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Trey Robbins, USAEC CSM cut the Earth Day cake at USAEC Org Day. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Cornhole at Golden Org Day
2 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Some of the USAEC Green Eagles are pretty passionate about their cornhole abilities (Photo Credit: Lally Laksbergs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Golden Org Day social time
3 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Organization Day provide an opportunity for Green Eagles to socialize with their coworkers and families (Photo Credit: Lally Laksbergs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Farewell to USAEC Commander
4 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Ali Masson's final organization day provided an opportunity for memories to be shared by many, including Green Eagle Northeast division chief, Hap Gonser and his wife, Pat. (Photo Credit: courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Volleyball is for the young "at heart"
5 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Volley ball was just one of the games played at the USAEC Golden Org Day. (Photo Credit: Lally Laksbergs) VIEW ORIGINAL
Eagle Print
6 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Joel Godfrey, Southeast division chief, and Rick Weiner, Environmental Quality division chief, present Col. Ali Masson an eagle print, in keeping with USAEC tradition for departing Green Eagles. (Photo Credit: courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Feather flies
7 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – USAEC feather marks where the green eagles nest for their Golden Organization Day at Salado Park, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (Photo Credit: courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

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.