Col. Jason Nicholson assumed command of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command during a May 24, 2022 ceremony at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Gen. Ed Daly, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), hosted the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Daly transferred the USASAC colors from Brig. Gen. Garrick Harmon to Nicholson. The passing of the colors is a time-honored military tradition that symbolizes the passing of responsibility and authority from an outgoing commander to the unit’s new commander.
Daly began his remarks by noting that “this command’s mission is more critical today than ever before. Your efforts in Foreign Military Sales, building partner capacity and security cooperation enable our Army to win in today’s era of Great Power Competition.”
USASAC currently manages more than 6,500 Foreign Military Sales cases in nearly 150 countries, with a total value of approximately $215 billion.
“Because USASAC, with little fanfare, quietly executes this mission, it doesn’t often capture media headlines. However, I will say this to the 1,500 dedicated, competent, and committed Soldiers, Civilians, and contractor employees of this command: you are truly the unsung heroes of the battlefield,” he said. “Your numbers and names are seldom called out during the game, but try and fight and win our nation’s wars without you ... for it is your contributions that guarantee our Soldiers can fight alongside allies and partners as a team.
Daly called Nicholson unequivocally the right leader at the right time for USASAC.
“He is an experienced Foreign Area Officer and leader who has been working within the Security Assistance Enterprise since 2011. He served as a political-military strategist and analyst on both the Joint Staff and at Headquarters Department of the Army. He has also been the Chief of Security Cooperation and the Senior Defense Official at our embassies in Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Daly also noted that in his previous assignment as Deputy G5 for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, Nicholson and his team were deeply involved in confronting what many believe is the biggest test of European security since World War II.
Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Nicholson was commissioned in 1998 as a Field Artillery Officer through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at North Carolina State University. A Doctoral Candidate (ABD) in Political Science at the University of Utah, Nicholson is an Amy Foreign Area Officer who speaks French and German.
Nicholson thanked Daly for the opportunity to lead the command and thanked USASAC personnel for its warm reception. “To paraphrase General Omar Bradley, our people are our credentials. The Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and contractors of USASAC exemplify the professionalism, dedication, and excellence expected by our nation,” he said.
Nicholson described USASAC and its workforce as critically important to its global mission. “As an implementing agency, USASAC is emulated by the sister services and respected by Allied or partner militaries as the Department of Defense’s preeminent security assistance provider,” he said. “Current events in Ukraine have thrust the command’s mission to the forefront of the daily news, this truly is an incredible team performing an important mission.”
He also thanked Harmon for his gracious support during the transition.
Harmon acknowledged the hard work of USASAC colleagues, “here at Redstone Arsenal, at Fort Belvoir and New Cumberland, at Fort Bragg, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and 18 other locations around the globe.”
“As the leaders of the AMC (security assistance enterprise) and the global integrators for the execution of Army FMS, the professionals of USASAC consistently deliver, and when needed most, the team has pivoted and further operationalized security assistance and FMS in ways not previously tested,” said Harmon. “Time and again, Team USASAC has met the challenge. I am proud to have served at this period of time with all of you.”
Harmon said “as current events have shown, the importance of the USASAC mission will continue to expand. I am confident that you will continue to meet whatever challenges come your way.”
For more information on USASAC and its vital security assistance missions, visit www.army.mil/usasac.