With the passing of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command colors, Maj. Gen. Thomas W. O’Connor, Jr. assumed command during a ceremony August 12 at AMCOM headquarters on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. The ceremony was preceded by a promotion ceremony in which O’Connor received a second star.
Gen. Edward Daly, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, hosted both ceremonies, which were attended by distinguished visitors, family, friends and the AMCOM workforce.
“As we look at today’s ceremony, we’re honoring not only this organization, but the organizations that are integrated and synchronized every day,” said Daly. “Secondly, it represents a transition to the future it challenges the new commanding general to build on an already impressive organizational resume lineage and history, which I think is tremendously important. And then thirdly, it signifies continuity. The colors being passed is a validation of the unit’s commitment to its mission and vision.”
Outgoing AMCOM Commander Maj. Gen. K. Todd Royar thanked Daly for his comments, as well as his trust and confidence during his tenure.
“I am blessed by the simple fact that I've had the opportunity to command in a great environment under Gen. [Gus] Perna, and now Gen. Daly, to do what we thought was right. I am blessed because we live in a phenomenal community. Every location says their community is the best. I'm here to tell you the Redstone Arsenal and I'm going to add Fort Campbell, Kentucky … are by far the two best that I've ever served with, and I could not ask for more.”
Royar closed by expressing his gratitude to fellow leaders of life cycle management commands, welcoming O’Connor and praising his lengthy and distinguished military career.
“I’m ultimately blessed because Tom O'Connor is taking my place. If there was a single person that I would want to take my place, it's him. He has the right experience, the intellect, the temperament, the skillset, the vision, you name it. He is a better man than I, and he will take AMCOM to new heights,” said Royar. “So, brother, I'm always here for you. I don't think you're going to need it … but I'm excited for what you will do with the rest of the AMCOM team and supporting that Soldier on the field. Army Strong.”
O’Connor acknowledged that Royar will be a hard act to follow – in today’s ceremony and leading AMCOM – and thanked Daly and Royar for their support. He also referenced the senior leaders who came before him and thanked his family for their unwavering support throughout his career.
“This is a wonderful community – not only from industry, but our community partners, those wearing [military] suits, as well as our Department of the Army civilians. We have a great team.” said O’Connor. “We have a great team because we all believe in the same thing. It's that our Soldiers need the best equipment and the best support. And everyone in this room and everyone online who knows that and comes to work every day to make a difference.
“I'm honored to carry on that true tradition. I'm honored to walk in the same footsteps of those that have come before me, and I'm going to be challenged, but I'll do my best to keep up the pace with Gen. Royar and all you gentlemen. I couldn't be more pleased to have my family here. And I'm so proud, so very proud of them. Thank you for traveling. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for allowing me to serve the nation that I love, and to continue to support the Soldiers that I love.”
O’Connor’s official biography is available on at https://www.amcom.army.mil/Portals/39/documents/Bios/Maj-Gen-OConner.pdf?ver=_WdSitAl3-enkFRW5Yvbow%3d%3d.