By Chelsea PlaceJuly 18, 2011
After spending three years in what is normally a two-year position, Lt. Col. Cameron A. Leiker passed on the responsibility of Headquarters Command Battalion commander to Lt. Col. Eric B. Fleming July 8 at Spates Community Club on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The ceremony began in the executive room of Spates with an informal stand-up award ceremony, where Leiker was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal followed by speeches prior to the formal change of command ceremony in Spates’ ballroom.
With 50 state flags lining the sides of the room and rows of chairs filling the ballroom, some in attendance had to stand in the back to watch the ceremony.
Although the event concluded with remarks, the final task was the passing of the sword from HQ Command Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Andrea Marks to Leiker, who then passed it to JBM-HH Commander Col. Carl R. Coffman, who proceeded to pass it to Fleming before finally returning it to Marks.
Remarks by Coffman, Leiker and Fleming concluded the ceremony.
“Standing before you is what represents almost 7,000 Soldiers throughout the National Capital Region and embassies throughout the world,” said Coffman.
“The command job requires you to run like a mustang and have the tenacity of a bulldog,” said Coffman, who jokingly ended with a baseball metaphor where it’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, Leiker set the conditions and Fleming is up.
Leiker discussed his time and efforts as commander of HQ Command Battalion.
“As I depart command, I’d like to leave three things that have left an indelible mark on me as a commander.
“First, train your Soldiers and take care of them and their Families,” said Leiker.
“Second, [Chief of Staff of the Army Gen.] Marty Dempsey said one day [as] ‘Leaders you must show them what right looks like and then and only then can you hold them accountable.” He concluded with a quote by one of his former brigade commanders in Korea, “The Navy is about ships, the Air Force is about planes, the Army is the only service that is about people.”
“You are an extremely talented leader and the battalion is in phenomenal hands,” said Leiker to Fleming. “I could not have asked for a better, more capable person to turn this over to. Enjoy the ride, as this is the best job in the Army.”
Fleming concluded the event with his remarks.
“Very few officers are given opportunity to command a battalion and it is a responsibility I take to heart,” he said. “I see this as an opportunity that we are more than willing to meet as an organization.” Fleming graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor of arts in history and was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He also received a master of science in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
In the military, he went to the Command and General Staff College; Logistics Executive Development Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms and Service Staff School and Ordnance Officer Basic Course.
He has been assigned to a variety of field grade assignments including chief, Army Plans and Integration Branch; brigade deputy commander for deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2008-10, 16th Sustainment Brigade, Germany and battalion executive officer, 832nd ordnance battalion, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
Fleming has also held office in many company grade assignments including headquarters company commander and battalion S3, 2nd Training Support Battalion, Oakdale, Pa., battalion S-3, 35th Supply and Service Battalion, Sagami Depot, Japan and platoon leader, 64th Forward Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
Awards presented to Fleming include the Army Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral three and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award among others. Fleming is married to Lisa and they have two children, David and Hannah.