FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Col. Charles Williams, garrison commander, relinquished command to Col. William Pfeffer during a ceremony at Nutter Field House Friday.

James Abney, G-9 Family and MWR Programs Installation Management Command from Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and former Fort Leonard Wood garrison commander, presided over the official ceremony and praised Williams for his efforts.

"We have been especially fortunate to have this great command team of Col. Chuck Williams and his wife, Sue, lead the Fort Leonard Wood garrison for the past three years," Abney said. "Chuck, your record shows you take to heart the Army's commitment to support and sustain Soldiers and their Families. You and this great garrison team have done tremendous work."

"As garrison commander, Chuck spear- headed the garrison critical training support mission annually training almost 90,000 service members from across all branches of the military. To support this mission, Chuck synchronized the annual programming and execution of over $250 million in base operation sustainment, repair and maintenance funds," he added.

Abney told Williams that as he departs Fort Leonard Wood, he can leave knowing that his efforts made a positive difference with Soldiers and Families during a time of war.

"You have also inspired the great IMCOM team you led, (and) built lasting relationships with the community. Thank you for your outstanding contributions and making Fort Leonard Wood a better installation and the Army a better organization," Abney said.

Williams thanked everyone who attended the ceremony and said although he has always been a behind-the-scenes guy, he has learned how to address a crowd since being the garrison commander.

"The one thing I always tried to say when I went out to talk to the community is if you have never left this area then you have no idea what an amazing place this is and how genuinely supportive this community is and all the things they do to support Soldiers and Families because they want to -- for no personal gain, but just because they think it's the right thing to do," Williams said.

Williams said this has easily been the most rewarding job he has ever had.

"What's the most fun about it is that we have the ability to directly impact Soldiers and Families," Williams said. "We make a difference every day for somebody on Fort Leonard Wood, whether it's just one person, one Family or a whole bunch of Families and really at the end of the day that's what being a leader is all about -- taking care of Soldiers and Families."

Abney also welcomed Pfeffer as the new Fort Leonard Wood garrison commander.

"(Pfeffer) is well-qualified to lead this great garrison team. He too is a proven leader with extensive operational experience and I know he will hit the ground running," Abney said. "He brings the right skills, right leadership and right attitude to lead this world class garrison team. He fully understands the critical importance of Fort Leonard Wood and it's support to the Soldiers."

Pfeffer recounted his first time at Fort Leonard Wood as a basic training Soldier and said it was here that he learned to be a Soldier and it was with pride he could return.

"I am extremely honored to have been selected for this position, a special trust and responsibility as your garrison commander, and I am humbled to accept the duties and the authorities to serve this great community," Pfeffer said.

"Thank you for your trust and confidence in the garrison team. I know we make a difference. It may not be seen right away, but I know we are getting it done," Pfeffer added.

Pfeffer entered the Army as a Private First Class and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., as a Field Artillery Officer in Aug. 1987. He rebranched in 1991 to military intelligence and served in various assignments throughout his military career to include Washington D.C., Vicenza, Italy with duty in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia; Germany; McDill Air Force Base, Fla.; and Fort Bragg, N.C. Pfeffer and his wife, Judi, have two children, Alex and Sarah.