A host of local, state and Aberdeen Proving Ground leaders joined members of the Garrison workforce, Soldiers and family members to witness a transition in leadership during the APG Garrison change of command ceremony at the post theater June 20.
Outgoing Col. James Davis relinquished command of the Garrison to Col. Robert Phillips III during the ceremony led by Reviewing Officer Davis Tindoll Jr., director, IMCOM Directorate-Sustainment.
Guests included APG Senior Mission Commander Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor, who also offered remarks; Maj. Gen. David Coburn, commander, U.S. Army Financial Management Command and a mentor of Davis; Brig. Gen. Karl Gingrich, Program Executive Officer for Command Control and Communications –Tactical; IMCOM-Sustainment Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Sullivan III; Larry Muzello, deputy to the CECOM commander and CECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew McCoy. Other guests included APG organization leaders, state and local politicians or their representatives and visiting military leaders and staff.
The ceremony included the singing of the national anthem by Anthony Hale of the Garrison’s Directorate of Public Works and the invocation by Deputy Garrison Chaplain Maj. Chad Davis. In addition, APG Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Staff Sgt. Keiden Jones presented bouquets of red roses to Davis’ wife Michelle and daughters Kelsy and Maddison and Soldier of the Year Tanrak Ploykao presented yellow roses to Lynne Phillips, incoming first lady of the APG Garrison.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia Jr. led the traditional transfer of the Garrison colors that passed from Davis to Tindoll to Phillips then back to Tia, symbolizing the official transfer of command.
Taylor asked for a round of applause for Davis and his wife and their service to the nation and told Phillips he has “big shoes to fill.” He cautioned that APG might not have all the resources of other installations.
“But what we have we need to manage well. We might not have the biggest team but we need to lead them well,” he told Phillips. “You are the right leader at the right time.”
Tindoll said he was privileged to participate in the event which was occurring in the midst of the installation centennial celebration.
Tindoll called Davis a gifted and dynamic leader, noting, “Where others saw challenges, he saw opportunities,” and he expressed confidence in Phillips as he moves the Garrison forward.
He said Phillips brings extensive experience to his new position.
“The challenges are many,” he said, “but I’m confident you will bring great energy and excellence to the Garrison and this installation.”
Davis thanked the guests in attendance and challenged the workforce to continue their unwavering support.
“Today, my challenge is to everyone in this room to find their leadership philosophy,” he said. “Mine is simply faith, family, unit and yourself.”
He challenged listeners to think of ways to help make their community better and he welcomed Phillips and his wife to the APG community.
Phillips said he looks forward to serving at APG and he expects to continue to achieve with the combined personal commitment to excellence of the Garrison workforce.
He thanked Davis and his wife Michelle for making him and his wife feel welcome and for the professional transfer of leadership.
He assured Tindoll he is ready to face the challenges ahead and thanked Taylor for the opportunity.
“Thank you, sir for having confidence in my ability to execute your priorities,” he told Taylor, “as we enable APG’s unique and vital role to the Chief of Staff of the Army’s number one priority: Readiness of the Force for Today and for Tomorrow.”
Col. Robert L. Phillips III
A native of Winchester, Virginia, Phillips received his commission as an Army Infantry officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at West Virginia University in 1994. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses; the Infantry Mortar Leaders Course; Airborne School; Air Assault School; Ranger School; Combined Arms and Services Staff College; the Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He transitioned from Infantry to the Comptroller – later Financial Management – career field in 2005.
His past assignments include Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the Pentagon; Kuwait and Iraq with U.S. Army Central Command and Multi-National Forces-Iraq; and the U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida.
Phillips holds master’s degrees in Business Administration and Public Administration from Syracuse University and in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Army Commendation medal; the Meritorious Service Medal; the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Campaign medals; the Army Staff Identification Badge; the Parachutist and Air Assault badges and the Ranger Tab.
His wife Lynn is a logistics officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.