Col. Gregory Holmes assumed command of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization during a Sept. 13, 2023 ceremony at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.
Brig. Gen. Brad Nicholson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, hosted the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Nicholson transferred the SATMO colors from Col. Andrew Clark to Holmes. The passing of the colors is a time-honored military tradition that symbolizes the passing of responsibility and authority from an outgoing commander to the unit’s new commander.
Nicholson recognized the SATMO team for their excellence as they execute missions from Fort Liberty and from 19 countries across the globe. “Truly, you are USASAC’s Face to the World, and the relationships that all of you establish with our allies and partners are the backbone for building capabilities, increasing interoperability and providing U.S. warfighting commanders with a decisive military advantage against our adversaries.”
Nicholson called SATMO USASAC’s center of gravity for executing security assistance.
SATMO is a subordinate organization of USASAC and deploys U.S.-based teams to execute security assistance missions outside the continental United States. SATMO has successfully deployed training and advisory teams to every geographic combatant command, hence the motto "Training the World, One Soldier at a Time." Their mission is vital to achieving U.S. national security objectives and regional stability in key locations throughout the world.
“As many of us know, the best equipment in the world is only as good as the Soldiers that can put it into operation. I appreciate the efforts of this organization to make sure that our allies and partners have the skills they need to put that equipment into operation,” said Nicholson.
He praised SATMO personnel as the ones who translate USASAC’s activities into combat credible effects, and thanked Clark for his “steadfast leadership, unwavering loyalty and invaluable expertise.”
Clark will remain on Fort Liberty reassigned to XVIII Airborne Corps HQ as the Corps commanding general’s Special Operations Forces Liaison Officer. The Corps will also be able to use Clark’s Foreign Area Officer and Defense Attaché experience to support Corps global response force coordination requirements with U.S. Embassies around the world.
During his remarks, Clark acknowledged SATMO as a “team of experts, small in number with a worldwide mission, often under resourced and always with more to do than hours in a day. We’re responsible for delivering strategic impact to U.S. interests and U.S. Army relationships with allies and partners worldwide.”
He called their mission a worthy cause and urged the team to strive valiantly to achieve this great mission. Clark welcomed Holmes and said he is impressed with his successor as the right officer, at the right time, to carry on the modernization and transformation of SATMO.
Holmes is a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) with more than 25 years of service in the Army and the Joint Force. Enlisting in 1998, Holmes completed Officer Candidate School and served as a Military Intelligence Officer in 3rd Infantry Division (3 ID) before attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection and subsequently completing the Special Forces Officer pipeline.
As a FAO, he served in both security cooperation and attaché positions, including on three country teams, U.S. Embassies Muscat, Sana’a, and Abu Dhabi, with significant operations in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Amman.
“It is my distinct and genuine privilege to assume command of the unique, professional and impactful Security Assistance Training Management Organization (SATMO). In this time of strategic competition, SATMO’s mission is more important than ever, and it is clear to me, from my observations over the last month, that this unit is up for the challenges ahead,” said Holmes.
To view the ceremony online, visit https://fb.watch/n1LkfR3ZhF/. For more information on SATMO and its vital security assistance missions, visit www.army.mil/satmo.