FORT LEE, Va. - Col. Thomas A. Rivard assumed command of the U.S. Army Ordnance School's 59th Ordnance Brigade in a ceremony June 29 on Whittington Field.

Despite the surmounting heat, the event, hosted by Col. Edward M. Daly, Chief of Ordnance and commandant U.S. Army Ordnance School, was attended by more than 100 guests including fellow Soldiers, family members and community leaders.

"I would like to extend a warm welcome to Col. Tom Rivard and his wife, Amy, as they join the ordnance team," Daly said. "Tom is the perfect choice for this command. He understands the importance of support to the warfighter and is a leader who brings an extraordinary combination of talent and experience to the position."

The 59th Ordnance Brigade is responsible for the training of more than 28,000 students annually in 33 enlisted career fields, nine warrant officer specialties and two officer areas of concentration.
Rivard took command from Col. Pharisse Berry, who will continue his career as the chief of staff, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, Norfolk, Va.

"Our mission is to train world-class Soldiers, who can contribute immediately to our Army," Rivard said to the formation of Soldiers. "I pledge to provide you the best leadership that I can, as we work toward the priorities given to us to accomplish the mission."

Rivard joins the ordnance team as a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. He has served in a number of staff and leadership positions. His assignments include units in Europe and the United States, along with an assignment as a platoon leader in the 498th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Armored Division (Forward) in Germany and then Operation Desert Storm; movement control officer for the 4th Infantry Div. (Mechanized); company commander of the 32nd Transportation Co., Fort Carson, Colo.; logistics planner and division transportation officer, 1st Armored Div, Germany; executive officer for the 18th Corps Support Bn., Operation Iraqi Freedom I; deputy Training and Doctrine Command systems manager for Global Command and Control System--Army and executive officer to the commanding general, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; professor of Military Science at Texas A&M University -- Corpus Christi, and Bn. commander, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Bn., Fort Carson, Colo., and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was commissioned in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps upon graduation from the University of Missouri -- Columbia, where he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. He subsequently earned a master's in management from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. His military education includes completion of the Transportation Officer Basic Course, the Junior Officer Maintenance Course, the Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster; and various campaign and service ribbons. He also wears the Army Parachutist Badge.