SAN ANTONIO - A new leader took command of the U.S. Army Environmental Command in a ceremony at the Fort Sam Houston Historic Theatre on May 12.
Col. Matthew F. Kelly assumed command from USAEC’s previous commander, Col. Alicia M. Masson, who will remain in the Army’s environmental enterprise, but is moving to the pentagon
This year marks the golden anniversary and a unique opportunity for those chemical corps commanders selected to lead this one-of-a-kind unit.
The current USAEC leadership team, Command Sgt. Major Trey Robbins, Deputy to the Commander Terri Thomas, and executive officer Lt. Col. John Gross, joined the rest of the ‘green eagles,’ in bidding farewell to the Masson family and welcoming the Kelly family to an Army asset that isn’t well known within the Army, but performs a vital role.
For 50 years, USAEC has been delivering cost-effective environmental services globally to enable Army readiness. In his remarks, Lt. Gen Douglas M. Gabram, Installation Management Command’s commanding general and host for the change of command ceremony, took time to thank the USAEC team and noted some recent accomplishments.
“Army senior leaders are confident in AEC and have been calling their number more and more, because they have learned the ‘green eagles’ will deliver realistic and feasible environmental solutions, regardless of the problem,” said Gabram.
“It’s been a banner year for AEC and a busy year for Ali,” Gabram remarked. “The professionals of AEC have been earning their money around the globe.”
Masson mentioned the opportunities she had while in command and thanked her team for all their support. She also took time to thank her family, mentors, friends and the IMCOM leadership team acknowledging how supportive and helpful they have been throughout her tour.
“Words cannot express how humbled and honored I am to be standing here with you,” Masson said. “Its mind blowing that two years have passed. There’s no one else like this team who are able to solve the Army’s complex environmental problems.”
Gabram shared some of the more well-known operations Masson accomplished during her tenure with USAEC, like Operation Allies Welcome and Task Force Ohana.
“They [USAEC] have transformed their organization and operationalized their function. They react to contact as good as any tactical unit I’ve been around,” said Gabram.
Both Masson and Gabram commented on the empty room when the last change of command occurred in July 2020 during the global pandemic. Today that room was shared by hundreds of family, friends and colleagues, as well as an online population, as the ceremony was broadcast on MS Teams and Facebook Live, as well as in person on Fort Sam Houston.
Gabram and Masson also both commented on USAEC’s journey. USAEC’s new commander kept up the theme.
“It is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Kelly remarked. “I am humbled to take that one step that will begin the journey with this command.”
Under the leadership of Kelly, USAEC will continue their journey, providing premier environmental solutions for our Army and our nation.