Williams steps down as finance school commandant

By Robert TimmonsJune 13, 2024

Maj. Gen. Michelle K. Donohue, commander, Army Combined Arms Support Command, presents Col. Michelle Williams, former commandant of the Finance & Comptroller School with a plaque during a June 7 ceremony that saw Williams relinquish authority for the Finance Corps and the school. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

Col. Michelle Williams relinquished her positions as commandant of the Finance and Comptroller School and chief of the Finance Corps during a ceremony held June 7 in the Soldier Support Institute Auditorium.

It was a poignant farewell as Williams had a short yet illustrious tenure on Fort Jackson, but her talents were needed elsewhere.

The loss of Williams is a little bit “bittersweet,” said Maj. Gen. Michelle Donahue, commander Army Combined Arms Support Command.

Williams had been the commandant since July 21, 2023, when she took command, but she was needed elsewhere, Donahue said. “You’re absolutely the right leader at the right time to go assume that position.”

That new position is as commander of the U.S. Army Financial Management Command in Indianapolis.

Donahue praised Williams for the “incredible impact” she had on the Finance Corps during her short tenure.

Williams led a school with a mission to train, educate and develop finance Soldiers who are capable of resourcing and sustaining operations across all echelons in any environment; enabling the Army to fight and win decisively against any adversary.

She lauded Williams for building a culture of trust while being at “the intersection of implementing the biggest transformation in Finance Corps history with everything from people optimizations … with the integration of finance battalions at Corps level, to finance operations center to support centers … to (Mission Essential Task List) development” to rewriting a field manual.

Col. Jason T. Edwards, Soldier Support Institute commander, honored Williams’ lasting contributions to the Army after receiving the unit colors to officially signify her relinquishment of command.

“You lowered attrition and then you built incredibly cohesive teams that are then now put back into the Army,” he said. Her command atmosphere “penetrated all levels of leadership, including the (drill sergeants) and instructors and then the students under your direction.”

The Finance Corps and the Finance and Comptroller School was “one of the best run organizations from top to bottom that I’ve ever observed in my military career,” he said.

“You will always be a member of the team,” Edwards added. “You’re just going to be in a different state, and your people are going to be scattered all over the place. But you will always be a member of this team.”

Williams was the final speaker to take the podium during the ceremony.

“As I relinquish my current role and pass the torch to my successor, I am filled with a range of emotions – pride in our accomplishments and gratitude for everyone’s unwavering support and excitement for the journey that lies ahead …” she said.

She added her “deepest appreciation” to each of those she served with who contributed to “our collective success … I am truly honored to have the privilege of serving alongside such and exceptional team.”

Randy Stevens will serve as interim commandant.