WIESBADEN, Germany – U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden welcomed a new commander as Col. Mario Washington relinquished command to Col. David Mayfield at Allen Field on Clay Kaserne, July 8, 2022.
Installation Management Command-Europe Director Mr. Tommy Mize, hosted today’s event outside in front of a large crowd and under a bright sundrenched sky, unlike the previous garrison change of command, which was mostly livestreamed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimize in-person gathering at the time.
“Flags unfurled, waving in the breeze, looks different than two years ago when Mario took command,” said Mize acknowledging the challenges when Washington took command two years ago.
Washington took command of USAG Wiesbaden in July 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While in command, Washington led the garrison’s fight against an unforeseen enemy during the global pandemic. His leadership was instrumental in ensuring the safety of the garrison community, while still providing top-notch support to tenant unit missions and various facility and services adaptations and upgrades.
In a time-honored ceremony steeped in tradition, the outgoing commander passed the colors, which represents giving the command back to the higher command, to Mize who in turn passed the colors to the incoming commander, symbolizing the Army’s trust and fidelity in the new commander as he accepts the transfer of authority and responsibility.
Mize praised Washington and the many accomplishments during his tenure, including Washington’s efforts in protecting the community during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mize went on to say that one of Washington’s best traits was caring about people.
“I never met somebody I think that (…) cares as much about people and it comes across in everything that he does (…) it comes across in the way he serves this community and it also comes across, frankly, in every interaction," said Mize. “Mario and this great team have done some remarkable things.”
"I absolutely enjoyed coming to work every single day," Washington said during a recent farewell gathering with his garrison team. "There was not one day under any circumstance where I did not enjoy the environment I was in, not once. And that is because of the individuals I worked with, they made it impossible to come to work with anything other than a positive attitude."
Once at the podium, Washington spoke about his time leading such a great team as an amazing opportunity and called it the best job of his 28-year Army career.
“This team…it is important, every member of this team is important,” said Washington. “There’s not any aspect of what goes on in this community that members of this workforce do not touch on a daily basis.”
Washington thanked his wife Elizabeth, who was also a member of the garrison workforce and volunteer.
“I am most thankful for, most definitely, Elizabeth… she has been on this journey with me for the last 28 years. I came in as a private and now as colonel she has been with me the entire time,” said Washington.
Washington will head to Fort Knox, Ky. next and will serve as the Chief of the Colonels Management Office.
A change of command is always bittersweet as an organization bids farewell to one commander, and quickly welcomes in a new commander the same day.
Col. David W. Mayfield is a recent Senior Service College graduate of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany.
"It's truly an honor and very humbling to stand here before all of you here today," said Mayfield, addressing the crowd as he takes command. "I look forward to working with all of you and serving the great community of Wiesbaden."
Mayfield has served in many assignments including being the Terrorism Branch Chief for the Joint Intelligence Center-Central U.S. Central Command and as an operational planner for U.S. Army Europe.