CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - The Indiana National Guard's historic Camp Atterbury received a new commander during a change of command ceremony here Dec. 20.
Col. Richard D. Shatto became the facility's 36th commander, taking his place alongside the few officers who have been privileged enough to command Camp Atterbury, assuming the post from outgoing Commander Col. Ivan E. Denton who has held the post since March 2012.
The ceremony's official reviewing officer was Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard and was held at the Joint Simulations, Training and Exercise Center on post. In attendance were many Atterbury-Muscatatuck Soldiers and employees, state and local dignitaries, and many previous post commanders.
Maj. Gen. Umbarger spoke eloquently of the outgoing post commander, calling him the right person at the right time to lead Camp Atterbury.
"This facility right here since its beginning in WWII has probably played not a greater role than any other camp and station throughout the nation," said Umbarger. "I can't think of too many more important [positions] to the Indiana National Guard than Commander of Camp Atterbury. It's a jewel of our nation," he said. "Leaders come and go, but the flag and the colors always stand representing the leadership and I can't say enough about the leadership of Col. Ivan Denton."
Deployed three times and an Army Ranger, Umbarger called Denton everything you read about in a Soldier. Following 22 months as the Camp Atterbury commander, Denton will receive a promotion to Brigadier General on Dec. 27 and assume his new post as the National Guard J-1 at National Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C., working directly under Gen. Frank J. Grass, Chief, National Guard Bureau.
"I couldn't be prouder of my time here," Denton told a group gathered earlier in the day for his Hail and Farewell ceremony. "We've made great progress here to help soldiers and that will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Denton told Shatto that he was inheriting not just a base, but a facility with a culture of customer service and support that is unrivaled in the U.S. Army. Shatto told the assembled crowd that it is the highest privilege to be given command alongside the great Soldiers of Atterbury-Muscatatuck.
"I'm very happy to be joining a team here at Atterbury and Muscatatuck at a time when it is one of the most unique sites in our Army." Shatto said. "This organization is known throughout the world as a world-class training site."
Shatto is a career engineer officer whose prior assignment was as Director of Logistics for the Indiana Joint Forces Headquarters, Indiana National Guard.