By Mr. Mark Iacampo ( Hohenfels )September 20, 2012
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Col. Jeffrey R. Martindale handed over command of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center to Col. John G. Norris at a change of command ceremony held here, Sept. 19.
Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer, Sr., U.S. Army Europe Deputy Commanding General, praised Martindale's 26 year career, his leadership, and his ability to bring teams together. He said that under Martindale's command, in the past year JMRC conducted 10 major rotations, and even trained troops in South Korea.
"JMRC continued to adapt and meet the needs of not only the United States and our partners here in Europe but also our collation partners around the world," Boozer said, adding that Martindale insured "that our forces are well trained and well prepared whenever and wherever our nation calls."
Norris, who recently deployed to Afghanistan and served in the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters, said he'd had occasion to see the results of Martindale's leadership first hand.
"I recently had the distinct privilege while serving in Afghanistan to be able to travel the entire country to observe and visit with many of the units that have benefited from the training that you have provided here at Hohenfels," Norris said. "(Martindale's) signature is seen across all of Afghanistan and the Soldiers and units are performing superbly in a very complex and ever changing environment."
Martindale is headed for Ft. Carson in Colorado to complete his retirement process.
"As I depart, I feel very proud and privileged to be part of the work that the Soldiers and the civilians here in Hohenfels put their heart and soul into every day," said Martindale. "The training never stops here in Hohenfels and it's truly a team effort all the way around."
Martindale said he couldn't have asked to belong to a more caring community than the one in Hohenfels, a community he said extended beyond the gates and fences of the military base, as evidenced by the presence of 11 mayors from the surrounding Bavarian communities at the ceremony.
He added that he knew he was leaving the JMRC in good hands as Norris represents exactly the type of officer Martindale would have picked as his replacement.
"John's recent experience at ISAF Joint Command, his time as a Stryker brigade and battalion commander, and his broad base of experience from the institutional to the tactical, make him the perfect choice to lead JMRC," said Martindale.
Norris said he was looking forward to the opportunity to continue the great work at Hohenfels and pledged to provide the best leadership, direction, and example possible.
"My commitment to you is that we will remain focused on providing realistic, challenging training and continue to provide the same high quality support to our Soldiers and families that they absolutely deserve. Nothing less will be acceptable," he said.