FORT KNOX, Ky. —Vincient Grewatz, the director of U.S. Army Installation Management Command – Training, accepted the organization colors of Fort Knox Garrison and passed them to incoming commander Col. Christopher Ricci during a change of command ceremony in Waybur Theater July 14.
Grewatz had attended O’Bryan’s going away dinner the night before. At the change of command, he recalled O’Bryan’s big takeaway near the end of the previous evening.
“As we all know, command is a team sport,” said Grewatz.
“[O’Bryan] reminded us at the dinner that the team should celebrate itself and its contributions every day for the continuous service that it provides this community because the continuity is at the heart of every change of command,” said Grewatz. “So even as we change leadership today, we know that the Garrison is going to continue to support training, provide protection, enable readiness and care for the Soldiers and Families of this community.”
Grewatz said it was a fitting day to celebrate O’Bryan’s achievements over the last two years and welcome Ricci, whom he called the right leader to take the installation into its next phase of growth.
“Running an installation is not for the faint of heart,” Grewatz said. “It’s a full contact sport that demands hands-on leadership, and its success is critically dependent upon teamwork. Nowhere is this teamwork more evident than here at Fort Knox.”
Grewatz said O’Bryan superbly guided Fort Knox Garrison when the nation was in a very different place two years ago, working to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and adapt to a new social fabric.
“I’m so proud of what you’ve done,” said Grewatz of O’Bryan. “You’ve risen to every challenge, enhancing the community on and off the installation. … Thank you for making a difference in this community.”
O’Bryan, who will be retiring from the Army in February 2024, delivered a speech that, at times, left him choked up. He even briefly stepped back from the podium at one point to regain his composure. He, along with his family, will stay in the area through the rest of the year.
“The level of support this community has for this installation, I’ve not seen it anywhere else in my travels over the last 25 years,” said O’Bryan. “I just can’t say how much of an honor it has been the last two years.”
O’Bryan thanked the Garrison members for all their hard work to keep the installation operational.
“There will always be challenges, there will always be friction, and not everyone will always be happy, but I can say with the utmost confidence that this team day-in and day-out puts its best foot forward and makes the installation run.
“The Garrison team is the foundation of readiness.”
Grewatz said Ricci and his wife Judith are well suited to take charge at Garrison.
“They bring to IMCOM a track record of excellence and a clear passion for mission, people and families,” said Grewatz. “I can’t think of a better couple to take the helm as they move Fort Knox into the future.”
Ricci takes command after serving at the Army War College and previously as commander of 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Liberty. He spent just over two minutes to thank the O’Bryans and Garrison staff for welcoming him and his wife to the installation.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve the Soldiers, Families and civilians of Fort Knox, our surrounding communities, and the great state of Kentucky,” said Ricci. “My Army journey started here over 20 years ago, and it’s great to be back.”