At a recent Christmas tree lighting at Fort Eustis, a bridge to new traditions may have been built at U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's new home for its headquarters.

In one of his first official roles as senior commander of Army Element Fort Eustis, Deputy Commanding General, Initial Military Training, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Longo spoke to the past, present and future of Eustis during his official remarks at the tree lighting Dec. 2.

"It is great to join this Eustis tradition," Longo said. "What strikes me most as I stand here, are what I call vestiges of Eustis past -- the helicopter, the train engine, the truck -- all part of the transportation history of Fort Eustis. The school may be gone, but the spirit remains. But we together here this evening are a part of Eustis of the future. I consider tonight a bridge to new traditions."

Longo commands IMT, one of TRADOC's Centers of Excellence that relocated simultaneously with TRADOC headquarters last August and September as part of Base Realignment and Closure. The Christmas tree lighting was the first major event in which leadership from TRADOC and the 733d Mission Support Group came together in front of a crowd to acknowledge a newly-formed relationship.

"This new Eustis is a dynamic place, with many brigade-level organizations that are doing important work for our Army," Longo said. "Over the last couple months, the headquarters of the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command, representing over 140,000 cadre and Soldiers on any given day, came here. The Army's decision to place one of its only three four-star general headquarters here at Eustis speaks to the importance of now all of our post."

The general didn't spend too long with his remarks, which was likely a relief for the kids who appeared to be busting at the seams in anticipation of the tree lighting and arrival of Santa. But he did drive home some holiday-related notes of importance.

"Please remember our service members whose duties have called them elsewhere … I encourage you to reach out and lend a hand. Have a safe and happy holiday season, and here's to a new year where Eustis will become an even better place to live, work and play."