FORT LIBERTY, N.C. – The United States Army Installation Management Command-Readiness bid farewell to Director Brenda Lee McCullough in a Relinquishment of Responsibility Ceremony Aug. 14 at Marshall Hall.
McCullough has held the IMCOM-Readiness Director position since April 2015 and has been responsible for installation management activities at 24 active and Reserve component U.S. Army installations and joint bases located in 16 states, Puerto Rico, and Honduras.
In true Fort Liberty fashion, the ceremony kicked off with the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus performing the National Anthem. They were followed by Col. James Foster, Fort Liberty Garrison Chaplain, who gave the invocation.
After an additional performance by the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, the Relinquishment of Responsibility Ceremony began with the passing of the IMCOM-Readiness Colors.
The colors represent not only the lineage and honors of the command, but also the loyalty and unity of the Soldiers and civilians. It also demonstrates the director has passed the mantle of leadership to the new director.
“It’s good to be back here to honor Brenda Lee McCullough as we relinquish her responsibility and authority as director of IMCOM-Readiness after seven years in the position,” said Lt. Gen. Omar Jones IV, Commanding General U.S. Army IMCOM. “I will tell you when Craig Deatrick, the former IMCOM-Pacific Director, told me back in May he was going to retire, there was only one leader who I thought about and recommended to Army leadership to move over, and that was Brenda Lee McCullough.”
Jones continued, thanking the IMCOM team for their leadership and what they do every single day for the Army and its mission. He went on to give historic context for IMCOM, the importance of civilian executive civilians, and IMCOM’s mission to provide the best quality of life for Soldiers, Families, civilians and Soldiers for Life.
Senior executive civilians are the pinnacle of the Department of the Army’s civilian leaders and oversee each of the IMCOM directorates. They are charged to provide leadership to the garrisons within their directorate, provide continuity and expertise on the science on installation management, and support the commanders and senior commanders of their team.
“In over seven years as a director of IMCOM-Readiness, Brenda Lee has excelled in all three of those missions,” explained Jones. “And she leaves a legacy that will last long after today’s ceremony.”
McCullough’s legacy includes leading and mentoring 300 garrison commanders, deputy garrison commanders and garrison command sergeant majors, as well as advising over 100 senior commanders across the 24 installations that are part of the Readiness Directorate.
Jones went on to list the various challenges and combat missions the Army has faced in the past seven years, including the 2019 housing crisis and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and how the IMCOM-Readiness team has been present through it all.
“It was Brenda Lee's incredible work ethic, her dedication to her people, her mastery of installation management that enabled this team of garrison leaders to be so successful with the support that they delivered,” said Jones. “Brenda Lee, it's been an honor and a true pleasure to serve with you these past two years, and I'm very excited you're staying with the IMCOM team.”
McCollough was then presented with the Superior Civilian Service Medal for exceptional service from November 2016 to August 2023 for exemplary dedication to the welfare of our nation, Soldiers, Families, civilians and Soldiers for Life in keeping with the highest traditions of the Department of Army civilian service.
“Lt. Gen. Jones, thank you and Gen. Hamilton for your faith and confidence in giving me the opportunity to continue serving the IMCOM family and the Army in IMCOM-Pacific,” said McCullough. “I am honored and humbled.”
McCullough continued, giving thanks to those who have supported her and her career for the past seven years. After giving thanks, she continued her tradition of telling a story at each of her change of command ceremonies and told the story of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team who were able to beat the unbeatable Soviet team.
“This historic game reminds me of our garrisons, always the underdog, always overmatched with larger-than-life problems and faced with unbeatable odds every day,” said McCullough. “Just like the 1980 Olympic hockey team, I've seen the grit and determination of IMCOM-Readiness support garrisons be successful against overwhelming odds at every turn. So yes, I believe in miracles. They happen every day in the Installation Management command and especially IMCOM-Readiness.”
She continued, stating she was at peace leaving IMCOM-Readiness to the leadership of Acting Director, Col. Christopher Ward. Ward has served as the Deputy Director of IMCOM-Readiness from June 2020 to June 2021. He will continue to serve as the acting director until a replacement is announced.
“Sustain, support, defend, Army strong, we are the Army's home,” concluded McCullough.