CRANE — Col. Stephen Dondero became the 19th commander of Crane Army Ammunition Activity at a traditional change of command ceremony Tuesday.
The change of command ceremony symbolizes a peaceful military transition of power that recognizes the outgoing commander’s accomplishments while welcoming the incoming commander to the organization.
Brig. Gen. Michelle Letcher, commanding general for Joint Munitions Command, presided over the ceremony where CAAA outgoing commander, Col. Michael Garlington, relinquished command to Dondero.
Letcher spoke about how Dondero is the right leader to build upon the standard of excellence at Crane Army.
“I have great confidence in Stephen and his ability to lead Crane Army and excel in this joint environment,” Letcher said. “He will continue to serve Crane, JMC and the Army well.”
During his welcome speech, Dondero expressed his gratitude and desire to lead the organization.
“I’m grateful to lead and serve, with the help of the experts and the support of my family, in such a great logistical operation,” Dondero said. “I’m grateful to be supported by a dedicated team providing ready, reliable and lethal munitions to America’s Warfighters.”
Letcher also recognized Garlington’s leadership abilities during his time in command.
“Mike is a high level Army officer who is known for his responsibility and leadership,” Letcher said. “He continues to impress me. I know, without a doubt, as he retires from the Army, he will continue to benefit this nation in his future position.”
During Garlington’s speech, he focused on the work ethic and dedication of the CAAA employees.
“Today culminates two years, two weeks of commanding the best damn ammo depot in the world,” Garlington said. “I want to thank the workforce for their duty and sacrifice. Everyday this workforce shows up, rolls up their sleeves and serves our nation to provide quality munitions to the Warfighter.”
Garlington will retire after serving 27 years in the U.S. Army.