FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Aug. 16, 2012) -- In a Club Meade ballroom crowded with installation employees, the commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region/Military District of Washington joined in to welcome several new staffers while bidding farewell to another.

The buffet-style "Garrison Hail and Farewell" lunch was among the handful of stops during Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington's biannual visit to the installation on Aug. 9 "just to see how things are," he said.

The general also took a brief windshield tour of Fort Meade before meeting with garrison leaders to discuss several topics affecting service members and their families.

Linnington's first stop was at Club Meade, where he briefly spoke to garrison employees. During his remarks, he acknowledged the Fort Meade Department of Fire and Emergency Services for being named the DoD's Small Fire Department of the Year.

Linnington also recognized the work performed by the Fort Meade Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, or SHARP.

"Fort Meade, in my opinion, sets the standard for all DoD in how to go about SHARP training," he said at the lunch.

Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Pardue, Fort Meade's SHARP program manager, said he is "both honored and humbled" by Linnington's recognition of the program.

The "summer of transitions" also was discussed as several commands within the JFHNCP/MDW changed leaders over the summer.

Fort Meade, Linnington said, is the best of the six installations he oversees: Fort Myer, Va., Fort Belvoir, Va., Fort AP Hill, Va., Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., and Fort Hamilton, N.Y.

"Fort Meade is a great place," Linnington said at the lunch. "Frankly, I would love to be assigned down here. No. 1, it would get me out of the Beltway. But No. 2, I sense a real enthusiasm for life, for working, for playing at Fort Meade. ... Thank you for what you bring to the table every day."

After driving throughout the installation, Linnington joined Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein, Deputy Garrison Commander John Moeller and other leaders from Team Meade at the Medal of Honor Memorial Library conference room to discuss resiliency, schools, drugs and senior leader training.

"Ed is probably my most aggressive and my most imaginative commander," Linnington said. "Whenever I need a good idea, I call Ed and he gives me three good ideas."

During his visit, Linnington urged installation employees to continue to reach out to constituents and clients to provide the best service possible.

"Keep pushing the envelope and keep asking the questions," he said. "Keep fighting for resources and we'll continue to make this a great place to live, work and play."