FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The U.S. Army Engineer School said farewell to Col. Daniel Hibner and welcomed Col. Joseph Goetz during a change-of-commandant ceremony July 29 on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza.
Goetz is the 100th commandant of the school.
Maj. Gen. James Bonner, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, was the reviewing officer at the ceremony. Bonner called Army school commandants leaders, who drive change within the Army.
“Commandants also develop future generations of leaders, through the oversight of Initial Military Training, Professional Military Education and personal efforts for their branch,” he said.
Under Hibner’s watch, more than 20,000 service members were trained, Bonner said. Among his other accomplishments over the past two years, Hibner also oversaw officer course modernization and improved talent management, resulting in leaders who are better prepared to contribute to their next unit of assignment.
“These efforts ensured that the future Army has a proved mobility and lethality, has a better understanding of its operational environment, and is prepared to execute its mission more safely and effectively,” Bonner said. “We are grateful for all that you have done for this regiment, the center and our nation — and we are very proud of you.”
Hibner — who moves on to Atlanta, where he will serve as commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division — said he’s excited to be assuming his new role, “but it is surely bittersweet.”
“It’s bittersweet because of the amazing team right here,” he said. “From the moment my family and I arrived, we were truly embraced by both MSCoE and the great St. Robert and Waynesville communities. I felt part of a team of teams instantly ... I’m so grateful we have such tremendous organizations here, and, more importantly, tremendous people here, that are our caretakers that lead our regiment into the future.”
Hibner called Goetz, “absolutely the right person for this job.”
“I am excited for you,” he said. “This really is a dream job.”
Bonner said every time a leader moves on to a new role, the Army selects the right officer and family to serve behind them. Goetz comes to Fort Leonard Wood from the Pentagon, where he served as the director of the Office of the Chief of Engineers.
Bonner called the new commandant, “broadly experienced.”
“He’s led Soldiers at every level, from company through brigade,” Bonner said. “We’re very excited for your leadership as the 100th commandant of the United States Army Engineer School. Although our teammates change, what will never change is our commitment to our profession, our dedication to our people and our pursuit of excellence.”
Goetz said it’s the privilege of his career, “to have the opportunity to continue to serve Soldiers and civilians and families of the regiment as our commandant here at our home, Fort Leonard Wood.”
“To the men and women of this great regiment, you will get my best every day, and our school will give you fit, disciplined leaders and Soldiers, who build cohesive teams, live up to our Army Values — and they will be ready to win the next battle,” he said.
More photos from the ceremony are available on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.