A color guard from the Third Infantry Regiment “Old Guard” presents the flags while the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Brass Quintet performs the U.S. national anthem.
Photo by Tim Peterson.
After master of ceremonies Terry Ruggles reminded the audience at Fort Belvoir of the U.S. Army’s age — 241 years — he said that it’s existence is “perpetuated on time-honored values and traditions, not the accomplishments of individuals.”
With that opening perspective of selfless service, Ruggles announced the change of command and change of responsibility for the Fort Belvoir garrison leadership ceremony taking place that day, the morning of Aug. 11.
After their two years of service, the base’s garrison commander Col. Michelle Mitchell and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Guillory were formally relieved by Col. Angelia “Angie” Holbrook and Command Sgt. Maj. Billie Jo Boersma, respectively.
The four leaders participated in a traditional rite of passing the garrison flag from one to the other, symbolizing the passing of command and responsibility.
Davis D. Tindoll, Jr., director for the Atlantic Region Installation Management Command, said, “This command team has positioned the garrison for continued success.”
In her remarks, Mitchell said it was “a bittersweet moment for me.”
After 28-plus years of service, she said, “when we passed the colors, it symbolized my last assignment in the U.S. Army.”
Both Mitchell and Guillory are retiring from the Army after leaving these posts.
Mitchell highlighted some of the achievements she’s overseen as commander, including partnering for the opening of Jeff Todd Way and widening of Route 1, and the opening of an all-new commissary in the next couple months.
“As a team,” Mitchell said, “we’ve achieved every goal we’ve set over the past two years.”
Guillory had some words of advice for the incoming leadership team: “Treat everyone with dignity and respect, and they will always get the job done.”
Incoming Boersma, originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, accepted the formal responsibility from Guillory. “The momentum and path of success, I promise, is in good hands.”
And Little Rock, Arkansas native Holbrook stopped short of announcing any sweeping immediate changes along with her taking command of the garrison.
“I subscribe to ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” she said.
However, Holbrook did introduce a new “command mantra” for her tenure: “Every day better,” she said.