Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter took the reins of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command from Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch during a change of command ceremony Nov. 17 on Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno presided over the changing of the guard for the command, which relocated from suburban Washington, D.C., to South Texas during the past two years as part of Base Realignment and Closure.
Ferriter, a 1979 graduate of The Citadel, came to Texas from a tour as deputy commander for advising and training for U.S. Forces Iraq, supporting Operation New Dawn. Before that, he commanded the U.S. Army Infantry Center and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.
As well as IMCOM commander, Ferriter is now the Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.
All three Soldiers served as “battle buddies” at some point during the war in Iraq.
“Both Rick Lynch and Mike Ferriter, I’ve known for awhile,” Odierno said. “Most important, I got to see them operate in combat. These are two Soldiers who not only understand what it’s like to take care of our families, but they understand what it’s like being at the tip of a spear. There’s no better person to lead us in installation management than somebody who’s experienced both.”
Ferriter’s combat tours include Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and two tours in Iraq. He and wife Margie have four children who understand Army life: Dr. Meghan Ferriter, Capt. Dan Ferriter, Capt. Paddy Ferriter and 1st Lt. Mary Whitney Whittaker.
“The Ferriters are a great Army family and IMCOM is fortunate to have them,” Odierno said. “Always remember that the strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. And that’s what makes us ‘Army Strong.”
Odierno thanked Lynch, the only commander IMCOM has known, for a career well done, capped by the complex move of an Army command from the nation’s capital to the heart of South Texas.
“We thought he was the perfect person to lead IMCOM and transform it into a world-class organization focused on our customers. The customers are our Soldiers and their families and our retirees.”
He also cited the 120,000 people who make up IMCOM.
“We are grateful for the dedicated Army civilians and contractors that have made IMCOM such a large success,” Odierno said. “In short, the IMCOM team has been and will remain a key ingredient in our ability to protect and sustain combat forces around the world. I thank each and every member of IMCOM for your untiring effort and commitment to our Soldiers, their families and the Army.”
Odierno commended Lynch for embodying words like courage, confidence, candor and compassion.
“In your 35-plus years, you have made history,” Odierno told Lynch. “You have lived in the arena and you have excelled inside that arena. Thank you for your steadfast dedication and loyal service to our Soldiers and our nation.”
Odierno applauded Lynch’s wife, Sarah, for her dedication to the mission.
“Sarah has been serving alongside Rick every step of the way,” Odierno said. “She’s dedicated herself to our Soldiers and families.
“Sarah, you are a true American patriot and hero. We want to thank you for all you’ve done and sacrificed throughout the years for our Army.”
The ceremony also marked the passing of the responsibility of IMCOM command sergeant major from Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Ciotola to Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Felt. Felt, top noncommissioned officer for the IMCOM Central Region, will serve until the scheduled arrival of Command Sgt. Maj. Earl L. Rice.