By Billie Garner (Fort Carson)January 31, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- With the stroke of a pen, Army and city of Denver leaders pledged their commitment to continue to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their Families, during an Army Community Covenant signing ceremony Jan. 25.
Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, hosted the covenant signing with Mayor of Denver Michael B. Hancock and other area leaders at the Denver City and County Building.
The covenant uniting the civilian community of Denver with its military neighbors at Fort Carson was signed by Civilian Aide Emeritus to the Secretary of the Army, William J. Hybl; Anderson; Hancock; Mary Beth Susman, president, Denver City Council; Fort Carson Garrison Commander Col. David Grosso; and Command Sgt. Maj. William D. Woods, 89th Troop Command, Colorado National Guard.
In the Parr Widener Library at the Denver City and County Building, officials signed the Army Community Covenant, which was formed in 2008 by the Secretary of the Army to construct shared connections and strengthen relationships between Soldiers, Families and their local communities.
"Today's community covenant signing ceremony is an outward representation of the vital relationship between Fort Carson and our northern neighbors in Denver," said Anderson.
He said Fort Carson leadership continues to be amazed by the contributions of the Denver community. He cited the Colorado Yellow Ribbon Parade last August that welcomed home servicemembers from their commitments in operations worldwide and showed support to those still serving and the Denver Broncos' Military Salute in November, which recognized 25 Soldiers during their annual ceremony at a home football game on Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.
"The covenant signing in Denver was arranged by Fort Carson leaders, Denver Mayor's office and the El Pomar Foundation," said Terrance McWilliams, director of military support for the El Pomar Foundation.
The Army Community Covenant promotes and upholds state and community partnerships with the Army to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and Families, both at their current duty stations and when they transfer to other military installations. The covenant accomplishes several goals to include recognizing the volunteer service of individuals in the community, the public's contributions and also displays the Soldiers' gratitude for the ongoing support of their local communities.
The covenant also establishes a formal commitment of support by local communities that is not limited to the active-duty Army, but also includes the Guard and Reserve.
The covenant is "an exchange of commitments between a community and an installation to support their military members and Families who are doing their service to the nation," Anderson said. "It is also a commitment from the military to be good neighbors and responsible citizens, and to give back to the community as well." Anderson said warriors and their Families could not have accomplished the series of deployments without the support of the communities in which they live.
"We feel that it is important to support our military men and women who serve our country," said Hancock.
The mayor said he is impressed by the relationship between Denver and Fort Carson.
"It was great to see our military and local leaders sign the Army Community Covenant here in Denver as the metro area has a large footprint of military and military supporters," said Army Lt. Col. David M. Rozelle, professor of military science for all Colleges in the Denver metro area, as well as the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado School of Mines.
The ceremony was Fort Carson's sixth community covenant signing with leaders from local communities -- Colorado Springs and Fountain, October 2009; Pueblo West, October 2011; Colorado Springs communities, May; Pueblo community, August; and Custer County communities of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, September. Throughout the Army, there have been more than 450 community covenants signed.