By Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, G-4November 24, 2009
Remarks Prepared for Delivery
LTG Mitchell Stevenson
Ribbon Cutting for Rozier Hall
Tactical Support Equipment Department Building
Fort Lee, Virginia
November 20, 2009
BG Collyar, thanks for inviting me to officially open the new Home of Ordnance -- it's a real honor. When I was here at CASCOM laying the groundwork for what we see today, I knew this facility would turn out special, but it really is far better than I could have ever imagined.
Mrs. Rozier and all the Rozier family -- when young students walk through the doors of Rozier Hall and learn more about your husband, it will be a special place for them as well, for he is a great role model to emulate. General Rozier spent time in the Pentagon, working in the G-4 (in fact, it was his last assignment) and we are thrilled to see one of our own honored in such an appropriate way.
I am told one of General Rozier's habits was to pop in on training exercises. It would not surprise an instructor to look up, and there stood General Rozier checking things out. I have the honor of working for a General cut from that same mold. So, next week, when the instructors look up, they will see the Army chief of Staff, General Casey. He plans to tour the facilities and eat in the dining facility, which is the new model for Army dining facilities. But most importantly, he wants to meet the students, because really what we are doing here is all for the Soldiers.
This is where our newest Soldiers undergo their technical training prior to joining their first unit, and no matter what unit it is, these days, it will likely be one that will soon deploy. Here, the next generation of Soldiers will learn how to repair generators, or troubleshoot wiring harnesses, or diagnose air conditioning systems. It is a very important skill set, especially in support of our Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Today, we are involved in two demanding wars, arguably, for the very survival of our way of life as we know it. Our young men and women maintainers need to transition from citizen to Soldier-mechanic rather quickly. And if we are going to ask them to move so quickly, we must do everything we can to help make the learning happen as quickly and efficiently as possible.
And that is what this new facility is all about. It offers our young Soldiers an opportunity to get state-of-the-art training, in a state of the art facility. Soldiers who train here are really getting a university education, and this will surely be a new powerhouse for technical training -- it is the best ordnance training school available anywhere in the world, one that we could only dream about when General Rozier and I were chief of Ordnance.
And this facility is just one of many that is turning Fort Lee into the premier sustainment training site for the Army. In 2005, when Congress passed the base realignment and closure program to make our military installations more efficient, we got a unique opportunity to consolidate our training for Ordnance, Transportation, and Quartermaster Schools -- and what you see here is just the tip of the iceberg.
Things are certainly changing. When I was at Fort Lee, the population was just shy of 20,000 Soldiers, students, civilians, and families. When all of the ongoing construction is complete, Fort Lee's population will have doubled, making this the third largest training installation in the United States Army. In two years, this will be the home to more than 4,000 military students and instructors just here for Ordnance training -- we will have invested $700 million just in Ordnance.
And it will be a great boost to all Army logisticians, having them all together, as part of our Sustainment Center of Excellence, on this beautiful campus. I am so glad to see all those plans that we spent so much time developing come alive in such a magnificent way. I especially want to thank all the construction workers, and engineers, and planners who built this great facility -- would you join me in giving them a big hand.
Jack Rozier entered the Army when General Dwight D. Eisenhower was President. And General Eisenhower used to enjoy going to the dedication of new Army facilities. One time he went to Walter Reed to dedicate a new medical facility, and he said, "a good workman deserves good surroundings, and so if we had nothing more here to dedicate than the building itself, it would still be an occasion worthy of note." But he went on to say that the more important reason for the dedication is what goes on inside. So it is here today at Fort Lee. Yes, we have a great building. But what will go on inside for years to come -- the important training of the next generation of young Soldiers -- is the real reason for this dedication.
Again, thank you, for allowing me to come to the new Home of Ordnance, and join in this momentous occasion. Army Strong!