Two major change of commands have taken place at Fort Belvoir in the past week. In each case there is a direct impact on the war in Iraq.
Last Friday Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin assumed command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) replacing Gen. Paul J. Kern who has led the organization since October 2001 and oversaw its move from Alexandria to Fort Belvoir.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker hosted the event held at the Long Parade Field on post. Prior to the ceremony, Griffin was officially promoted to general.
Griffin comes from the Pentagon after serving three years as the Department of Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8. His major duty assignments have included commanding general 4th Infantry Division, (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Tx.; commanding general of Joint Task Force 6, Fort Bliss, Tx.; and commander 2nd Brigade, 6th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
With 34 years of military service, Griffin has received several awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit with three Oak Leaf Clusters.
A native of Emporia, Va., Griffin was commissioned in 1970, following receipt of his bachelor's degree in Business Management from Old Dominion University. He earned a master's degree in Business Administration from Mercer University in 1981.
AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel. There motto is, "If a soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, or eats it, AMC has a hand in it." It is the primary coordinator of logistics for the U.S. Army worldwide and centrally involved in the war in Iraq.
According to its mandate, "The command's complex missions range from development of sophisticated weapons systems and cutting edge research, to maintenance and distribution of spare parts." To develop, buy and maintain materiel, AMC works with a host of government agencies, private industry and academia.
AMC operates the research, development and engineering centers, Army Research Laboratory, depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, and other facilities. In addition to being headquartered at Fort Belvoir, it is located in approximately 149 locations worldwide, including more than 40 states and 38 countries with more than 50,000 personnel, military and civilian.
THE SECOND CHANGE of command occurred last Saturday when Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., relinquished command of the 29th Infantry Division (Light) to Maj. Gen. Arthur H. Wyman. It also occurred on the parade field in front of divisional headquarters.
Long has been the 29th commanding general since August 2002. He has assumed the position of Deputy Director for Operations Iraq Project and Contracting Officer Baghdad, Iraq, Department of Defense.
Wyman comes from serving as the Assistant Division Commander (Troops), 29th.