Scott assumes command of USAG Red Cloud, Hatfield is senior enlisted Soldier

By Franklin Fisher

CAMP RED CLOUD South Korea -- The unit that manages base operations at U.S. Army posts in the area between Seoul and the Demilitarized Zone has new top leadership following ceremonies here July 13.

Col. John M. Scott assumed command of U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I, replacing Col. Hank Dodge, who moves to a new assignment at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hatfield became the garrison's new senior enlisted leader, replacing Command Sgt. Maj. Nidal Saeed, who is retiring after 28 years of Army service.

The changes occurred during a change of command and responsibility ceremony inside the Camp Red Cloud Fitness Center. Plans to hold the ceremony outdoors on the post's Village Green were called off after a night of rains and thunderstorms that lasted into part of the morning.

In remarks at the ceremony, Debra D. Zedalis, director, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Pacific Region, said Dodge's "contributions and improvements" to the garrison and its "surrounding communities" had been "magnificent."

Dodge, she said, had "skillfully managed limited resources and significantly improved aging infrastructure."

During the past two years, she said, Area I Soldiers, family members and civilians had benefited from numerous key improvements.

They included:
• A new child development center
• Two new child and youth centers
• Area I's first-ever Defense Department school, with students in kindergarten through eighth grade
• Renovated barracks, including senior leader quarters
• Family readiness centers
• An upgraded central community in-processing center

"Hank is a passionate leader who routinely produced unparalleled results in one of the most demanding and austere operating environments," Zedalis said.

"Operating in a forward-deployed area, with a 'fight tonight' mission, he and his team proved themselves routinely to the 'Warfighters'" of the 2nd Infantry Division, she said.

Dodge also showed himself to be "an honest broker who tells it like it is, and a person who has the uncanny ability to work well with everyone," Zedalis said.

"When the garrisons in Korea were faced with the task of reducing their workforce, Col. Dodge was the first garrison commander to assemble his team and talk about the drawdown," she said.

Zedalis noted awards the garrison received. They included an Army Communities of Excellence honorable mention, A Phillip A. Connelly Award for best dining facility, and awards for the best Better Opportunities for Single (and unaccompanied) Soldiers program, best fire services in Korea, and an award for maintenance excellence, she said.

"All of this occurred in parallel with the most destructive flood to hit Korea in more than 100 years," said Zedalis. Overall damage to Area I installations totaled about $18 million, with the Camp Casey enclave in Dongducheon being hit hardest.

Addressing Scott, Zedalis said "Mike, your reputation as a strong and caring leader precedes you, and I believe your new garrison team will fit you like a glove."

In farewell remarks, Dodge said he'd "enjoyed the overwhelming support of some of the most loyal and true friends anyone could ever have the privilege to know."

He then thanked many by name.

And he welcomed Scott and Hatfield, saying they "make an excellent command team" that will "bring fresh new perspective to Area I."

Dodge thanked Saeed, calling him "my battle buddy for the past two years and my good friend.

"Thanks always for your wise counsel and your continued friendship," Dodge said.

In brief remarks as the new commander, Scott said he was "extremely honored to be joining this first-rate team of professionals here in Area I.

"I look forward to being able to continue providing the outstanding support commanders need, the Soldiers and families deserve, and our communities expect."

Scott is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, from which he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He holds several advanced degrees, among them a master's in military art from the Command and General Staff College. He is also a graduate of the Army's Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the School for Advanced military Studies.

Before his current assignment in Area I, Scott attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hatfield is an artilleryman whose career began in 1987.

He served in Operation Desert Storm, and in more recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as two Korea tours, at Camps Red Cloud and Stanley respectively, between 2004 and 2006.

He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland.