By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleDecember 15, 2011
The Office of the Chief, Army Reserve formally introduced itself to Fort Belvoir during a ribbon cutting ceremony in their new home Dec. 7.
OCAR's new $19.6 million facility on Goethals Road makes it one of Belvoir's latest tenant organizations.
The 88,000 square foot building is double the size of their previous home in Crystal City but at a cheaper long term price.
"This is huge for us in terms of our ability to operate as a Reserve efficiently and effectively and save dollars," said Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief, Army Reserve, and commanding general, United States Army Reserve Command.
As part of USAR, OCAR provides operational assistance for the Army in combat support and combat service support roles.
The Department of Defense called upon the reserves to have a more vital role after 9-11 and Stultz believes they have responded well.
Stultz, who became an active duty servicemember on post in 1974, said it's fitting to return to Belvoir and cut the ribbon on a facility that symbolizes USARC's role in DoD.
The move also symbolizes wise-budgeting as Stultz said OCAR's new base of operations will save the unit and the Army a significant amount of money.
OCAR was spending approximately $2 million per year to lease their previous home.
The new facility also features upgraded teleconference capabilities, which will allow OCAR staff to communicate with Pentagon leadership without having to burn fuel commuting to Crystal City.
"This was a great effort," said Lt. Col. Kevin West, OCAR's chief planner for the move, "with high quality and still within a very reasonable price."
The building will also have a locker room, dining facility and parking space for personnel.
West believes these amenities will help OCAR servicemembers perform their tasks at a higher level.
"It's good to have a permanent facility, a permanent home that's excellent, top notch, and the Army Reserve is excited about being here," West said.
Stultz was very appreciative of the people who assisted in the construction of the building; one person in particular was Joyce Morrow, administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army.
Morrow was very instrumental ensuring the project was completed within a year, so that OCAR could move in on time.
"The team came together to accomplish this magnificent feat," said Morrow, speaking of the Reserve, the Corps of Engineers, Belvoir and her office. "It was their patience, their persistence and their plain hard work that ensured that we'd reach this day successfully."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Ronald Adolphi presented Stultz with an original 1943 Norman Rockwell painting titled "To Make Men Free," on behalf of the Fairfax-Lee Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army.
The art captures American's involvement in conflicts spanning from 1775 to World War II.
Adolphi hopes that the general places the painting in a visible location for everyone to remember the Army's history.