News: California-based US Army Civil Affairs Command says farewell to commander
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Thirteen thunderous blank volleys from howitzer cannons shook historic Moffett Field, California, May 6, as nearly 1,000 civilians and service members honored the outgoing commander of the 351st Civil Affairs Command during a relinquishment of command ceremony.
The now-former commanding general of the 351st CACOM, Brig. Gen. Gary A. Medvigy, said a heart-felt farewell to his soldiers during the ceremony, which transferred command temporarily to his deputy commander, Col. Jimmy Rankin.
Medvigy speaking to the formation of soldiers said, “you represent the finest values of the American volunteer, citizen soldiers, when asked ‘who will go’ you answered the call, take me.”
Medvigy’s long tenure as a figure in Civil Affairs, Military Information Support Operations and as a judge at the Superior Court in Santa Rosa, Calif., was honored by the attendance of dozens of prominent figures from those communities and more. The 351st CACOM’s higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne)’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey A. Jacobs thanked Medvigy for his long and distinguished service in the USACAPOC community.
“Today, not only the 351st Civil Affairs Command says ‘farewell’ to Brigadier General Gary Medvigy,” said Jacobs. “But USACAPOC says ‘farewell’ to Gary after nearly 19 years of service in and to the command in varied and tough jobs.”
Medvigy assumed command of the 351st CACOM, May 2, 2009. During that time, Medvigy spearheaded several initiatives. He lead initiatives to bring cross fit physical fitness to the soldiers of the CACOM and brought training on the Army Profession and Ethic to the soldiers of the CACOM.
Medvigy said he is proud of many of his accomplishments as the commander. He said he is proud of providing trained and qualified Civil Affairs operators for the theaters of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, as well as to military exercises.
Medvigy said the accomplishment of which he is most proud, is the re-engagement of Pacific Command, where he advocated for the creation of the 351st CACOM-Forward, which would be co-located with U.S. Army, Pacific to provide expertise and plan civil-military operations in the pacific theater of operations with USARPAC.
“This [the Pacific Theater] is fast becoming the weighted effort for the Department of Defense,” said Medvigy. “We have well positioned ourselves to best provide our discipline throughout the Pacific.”
Saying farewell to Medvigy by attending the relinquishment of command ceremony were Joseph Sweeney, the Northern California civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, representatives from NASA Ames Research Center, members of the Superior Court of California County of Sonoma and dozens of other distinguished civilians and retired military personnel.
Military attendees represented an equally varied group with personnel from U.S. Army, Pacific; the 63rd Regional Support Command; the 129th Air Rescue Wing; the 7th Psychological Operations Group and the 157th Civil Air Patrol. As part of the ceremony formation were the commanders, sergeants major and soldiers from brigades and battalions within the 351st CACOM.
“I feel honored,” said Rankin after the ceremony. “It’s great to lead troops and it’s a great command.”
Unlike change of command ceremonies, relinquishment of command ceremonies transfer command on a temporary basis. The infrequent relinquishment of command is done when a former commander retires or is re-assigned to another position, while the new commander is not yet identified.
Medvigy is moving to a position within 8th Army sometime after the relinquishment, his successor as commanding general has not been identified yet.
Date Posted:05.08.2012 20:32
Location:MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, US
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