FORT BELVOIR, Va. - Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney passed command of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to Brig. Gen. (Promotable) John A. Macdonald today during a traditional change of command ceremony at the Wallace Theater.

Macdonald remarked on how pleased he was too see so many familiar faces among the crowd of FMWRC employees in attendance, and alluded to Gen. MacArthur's infamous "I Shall Return" speech.

"I have returned," he quipped, "I'm feeling a bit of deja-vu today."

Nineteen months ago, when FMWRC was placed under the command of the Army's Installation Management Command, Macdonald, Pinckney and IMCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson shared the stage as Macdonald passed command to Pinckney. Today the flag was passed in the opposite direction.

Both Wilson and Macdonald praised Pinckney on her many accomplishments as commander. Most notable of the command's many accomplishments was the unit's role in the creation of the Army Covenant, the $100 million worth of increased programming and activities put in place in the past few months to support Soldiers and their Families, and the Army Soldier Family Action Plan, which is guiding Army leadership as they implement the Chief of Staff of the Army and Secretary of the Army's vision of improving support to the entire Army Family.

Macdonald pointed out how rare it is for a commander to get to "go back" and take command of a unit a second time, but explained that this is a step forward, for FMWRC and the Army as a whole.

"FMWRC is a two-star command now, elevating its status to the Army and the world," he explained. "This illustrates how important taking care of our Soldiers and Families is to Senior Army Leadership."

Macdonald's second star was confirmed by Congress Thursday, and his promotion ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 11. He will be dual-hatted, remaining the deputy commander of the Installation Management Command while filling the commander position at FMWRC. The dual position serves two purposes; it leaves him in an ideal position to affect change as the ASFAP is put in motion, and serves as the first step in the BRAC realignment that will ultimately place IMCOM, FMWRC and the Army Environmental Command together in San Antonio, Texas, in 2011.

Pinckney is leaving the command to head an Army Diversity task force at the request of the Chief of Staff of the Army. She was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of her exemplary service to the Army as FMWRC Commander. She reports to her new duty station immediately after the holidays.

The Family and MWR Command is the lead agency for many of the Army's Family and Soldier support programs and services, including Child and Youth Services, Fitness and Recreation programs, Armed Forces Recreation Centers, and Army Community Service, to name just a few. Today's global network of nearly 37,000 employees operates more than 200 programs and activities through 4,000 facilities around the globe, including facilities in the Balkans, central Asia and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.