The Army garrison in the heart of the Coastal Empire and in the soul of Savannah changed commanders July 29.
Outgoing garrison commander Lt. Col. Stephan Bolton passed command of Hunter Army Airfield to new garrison commander Lt. Col. Robert Cuthbertson at Truscott Air Terminal. Military and civic leaders from across the area attended the change of command ceremony.
Cuthbertson took the podium as the new garrison commander after Bolton spoke, and made a half-joking, half-serious comment about the height difference between them and the challenges of garrison command.
“Not only did you set the bar high, but the mic as well,” Cuthbertson said.
Cuthbertson went on to thank his family, comrades, and mentors for giving him the love, support and knowledge to command a battalion-sized element. He also touched on his local connects, having been a student at Hinesville middle school. He thanked his brother for his support during that time.
“As Army brats, we often only had each other,” he said.
Cuthbertson closed his speech with the promise to do his very best as the new garrison commander.
“I look forward to our time together,” he said.
Cuthbertson comes to command after serving numerous roles in the J-3 at Special Operations Command Africa, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Manny Ramirez said a garrison commander must always be an example and inspire. Being a leader is a task never to take lightly.
“Being a garrison commander, as I can attest too, is not easy,” Ramirez said. “It is simultaneously the most demanding and most rewarding job in the Army. “
Cuthbertson has a proven record of leadership over his 19-year career, Ramirez said. Those skills set him ahead of his peers to be selected to lead the garrison and serve as the mayor of what is essentially a small military town.
“l will expect continued greatness from you,” Ramirez said.
In a lighter moment, Ramirez also preemptively thanked Cuthbertson’s family for the challenges to come.
“I want to thank his family in advance for what were about to put him through in the next two years,” he said.
Ramirez praised Bolton’s leadership during a global pandemic while still serving customers and ensuring combat readiness of all the branches that call Hunter home.
“He proved himself to be a truly gifted servant leader,” he said. “You cared and worked tirelessly.”
Bolton thanked all the military and civic leaders present. He lauded the accomplishments of Team Hunter, how it serves 6,000 service members and 7,000 Family members in the in heart of the Coastal Empire in the soul of Savannah.
“We are joint in all but name, we punch above our weight, “he said.
Bolton shared the story of how a young woman and her grandmother came to garrison headquarters seeking assistance after the young woman was sexual assaulted on the installation. The team came together to provide care and justice for the women, ensuring they were supported in their time of crisis. He said he could have talked about any number of success stories about Hunter, its power projection, its traditions, its history, and community outreach,
“It shows a community that is well integrated and understands its purpose; to take care of its own.”