The National Training Center and Fort Irwin welcomed the arrival of its new commander during a change of command ceremony, here, Feb. 21.
Brigadier Gen. Ted Martin took command as he received the NTC colors from Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of United States Army Forces Command.
Brigadier Gen. Terry Ferrell concluded his tenure as commander here and his next assignment will be to lead Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, one of the subordinate commands of U.S. Africa Command.
The ceremony took place at the parade field on this military installation with seats and bleachers filled by NTC and Fort Irwin community members. Distinguished visitors from the High Desert also attended the traditional military event, which featured installation units on the parade field, the 62nd Army Band conducting ‘Sound Off,’ cannon fire (blank shells) for ‘Presentation of Honors,’ and the passing of the NTC colors to the new commander. There were also remarks by the three generals, who spoke about the significance of the occasion.
Rodriguez said that the day was an opportunity to welcome a great Army Family – the Martins. Martin has established a reputation Army-wide as an outstanding Soldier and superb leader and Stephanie Martin, like her husband, cares deeply for Soldiers and their Families, said the FORSCOM commander.
“Installing a new commander signals an opportunity for growth and continued positive change and general Martin is a proven leader of immense capability and is ready to assume the increased responsibility of senior commander at a Forces Command installation,” Rodriguez said. “He brings a wealth of experience in both combat leadership and training.”
Martin spoke about feeling fortunate to return to Fort Irwin (he commanded Operations Group, 2009-10) and called the Mojave Desert his natural habitat.
“The National Training Center stands as our Army’s premier combat training center, where we seek to sharpen both the mind and the battle axe, and I am proud to be part of the training solution,” Martin said. “There’s no doubt we have a righteous mission and one worthy of a dedicated and determined effort. Under the leadership of the commanding general of Forces Command and with the assistance of the entire team here at Fort Irwin, California, I commit to you that we will prevail in this endeavor.”
Rodriguez praised the Soldiers participating in the ceremony and all who are stationed here.
“The servicemembers, Families and Army civilians at Fort Irwin are well represented by these great looking Soldiers you see on parade,” Rodriguez said. “They look great.”
He also commented on the distinctive honor of serving as a military commander.
“America’s Army is built around commanders,” Rodriguez said. “And unit command is a very special time in a military career. There is no greater privilege than to lead American Soldiers, but commanding here – at one of the Army’s three premier combat training centers – is a rare and very special opportunity.”
Rodriguez commended Ferrell for his leadership at the NTC and Fort Irwin, saying that he brilliantly directed the installation and met every challenge.
“He’s an excellent trainer and under his command the NTC readied 22 brigade combat teams for overseas deployment,” Rodriguez said.
Ferrell said that during the past two years, the NTC had that opportunity to train a multitude of tasks and missions to prepare not just Soldiers, but the other military services and joint, inter-agency partners, to deploy.
“If we’re not deployed, the closest thing we can do is to be able to train and ensure they’re prepared to go,” Ferrell said. “And I applaud each and everyone of the organizations here, the leaders, and the Soldiers that partake in those training rotations each and every month.”