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    Ward Assumes Garrison Command at White Sands Missile Range

    Passing of the WSMR Garrison Flag

    Photo By John Hamilton | Col. Christopher Ward receives the colors from Brenda Lee McCullough, Director, U.S....... read more read more



    Story by John Hamilton 

    White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs

    Ward Assumes Garrison Command at White Sands Missile Range

    By Victoria Garcia

    White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs

    WHITE SANDS MISSLE RANGE, N.M. - The White Sands Missile Range Garrison Command passed from Col. Dave Brown to Col. Christopher J. Ward during a change of command ceremony held July 17 in front of the majestic landscape of the Organ Mountains Parade Field.

    Although a change of command ceremony is an Army tradition that focuses on time-honored values and traditions rather than the accomplishments of individuals, Brown’s hard work and successes were too great to ignore for White Sands Missile Range Commander Brig. Gen. Eric L. Sanchez, who congratulated Brown on a job well done.

    “He has been one of the best team players you could ever ask for,” Sanchez said. “I’ve watched him build his team, the Garrison team, over the last two years and I’ve been in awe just watching the things he’s been able to do.”

    Sanchez went on to praise Brown for being a dynamic and innovative leader who took the time to know everyone around him, such as people from the fire department or the grounds and roads crew.

    “He’s very good at communicating the good, the bad and the ugly…I could always count on Col. Brown’s judgement to make the right call,” Sanchez said.

    Sanchez thanked both Brown and his wife Christina for not only their contributions to WSMR, but for their friendship and loyalty.

    When it came time for Brown to deliver his parting words, he reflected on a memorable two years at White Sands.

    “It has been a long, educational and at times, difficult road since Christina and I arrived just over two years ago,” Brown said. “This is one of the most rewarding assignments and I can tell you that I’m absolutely certain that I took care of and took command of the best.”

    When Brown first took command two years ago, he said he vowed to continue the installation’s functions and services, to overcome the challenges ahead by pulling together as a team, and to contribute to the legacy of the birthplace of America’s missile and space activity.

    Two years later, Brown said he is positive that he hit that mark.

    During his that time, Brown said he was able to implement what was to become an Army-wide initiative to better manage and preserve Family & Morale, Welfare and Recreation services for small and remote installations such as White Sands. He also saw similar success when he started a pilot program to streamline processes to more quickly enact contracts with the Army Corps of Engineers that has the potential to become Army-wide.

    Other accomplishments included leading the Army in energy reduction efforts in 2017 and increasing participation in the Bataan Memorial Death March by more than 30 percent.

    Brown acknowledged the support of not only the dedicated volunteers, whom he called the life blood of the community, but also his wife.

    “I like to talk about teamwork. She’s my teammate. Honey, you put together one heck of a team and made my job real easy,” Brown said while holding back tears.

    Brown went on to welcome the incoming Garrison Commander, Ward, saying that by receiving the colors of the Garrison, Ward has dedicated himself to taking care of the nation’s most precious assets and their families.

    “Chris there are many challenges ahead, but the reins of command have passed into very capable hands… and your team has proven that it stands ready,” Brown said. “I wish you success as you move forward with this awesome responsibility.”

    Ward, a native of Caldwell, Idaho, is no stranger to New Mexico as he was commissioned at the New Mexico Military Institute in 1994.

    “My family and I are really happy and excited to be a part of the White Sands team,” Ward said. “We are busy as ever and I look forward to serving with each and every one of you and continuing the great legacy that is White Sands Missile Range,” Ward said as he thanked everyone for being there during the “great New Mexican morning,” commenting on the beautiful mountain backdrop and the excitement he and his family share.




    Date Taken: 07.17.2018
    Date Posted: 07.17.2018 17:01
    Story ID: 284665

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    Ward Assumes Garrison Command at White Sands Missile Range