Anniston Army Depot's Directorate of Community and Family Activities recently welcomed a new leader.

Keith Colbert, the new director for DCFA, arrived at the installation Feb. 20 and is currently in the midst of a transition period with Jim Webb, the outgoing DCFA director, who retires June 30.

"Having this long transition period is a luxury. Most organizations don't have this time for transition," said Colbert.

Webb said DCFA, with its numerous components that each serve a separate function -- from counseling to recreation and food services -- is more complicated than most directorates. Additionally, the transition date was chosen to coincide with the directorate's scheduled annual inventory.

"Morale, Welfare and Recreation must perform an inventory every year," said Webb. "At the end of that inventory, I can appropriately hand everything over into the capable hands of Mr. Colbert."

Colbert comes to the installation with more than 20 years of experience in the MWR arena.

He joined the military at age 17, serving four years as a Marine. He left the Marine Corps Dec. 10, 1973, and the next day reported to the Navy. His first duty station was the Naval Air Rework Facility at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.

"We built trainer aircraft and other aircraft for the Navy," said Colbert. "So, I come from a depot."

In 1988, he became an Air Force civilian as the program director for the recreation center at Osan Air Force Base in Korea.

The next 11 years of his career were spent in Korea, working first for the Air Force, then for the Army.

On Sept. 9, 2001, Colbert returned to the U.S. to serve at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif.

Less than two years later, he moved overseas again -- first to Wursberg, Germany, as the Director of Personnel for Community and Family Affairs for the 417th BSB, the largest base support battalion in Europe, and then, in 2005, to the U.S. Military Training Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In July 2008, Colbert returned stateside to assist his family. His most recent post was business operations director for MWR at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah.

Colbert was thrilled with the opportunity to come to Anniston, not only for the workforce, which he calls "a great community to be part of," but also for the proximity to his parents, who live in Florida.

"This is the first time I've been close enough to drive home on a weekend in 26 years," said Colbert.

Webb said Colbert is learning Anniston's facilities and capabilities quickly and is well-prepared to make DCFA an even better asset for the depot and its surrounding community.

He is also comforted knowing, as he retires, that the organization is in capable hands.

"Throughout my career, I have moved, almost like an apprentice, through all of the areas served by DCFA," said Colbert. "I'm looking forward to working with the team here at Anniston Army Depot."

As the transition comes to a close and Colbert fully takes the reins of the organization, Webb said he will be sad to leave the people he has known and loved through his years at Anniston, but is happy to move into the next phase of his life.

"I'm going to spend time with my grandchildren, enjoy our home on the lake and I'm going to learn to fish...maybe," said Webb.