New era of NTC leadership begins

Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

The National Training Center and Fort Irwin welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony here, March 24.

Brigadier Gen. Joseph Martin took hold of the NTC colors from Lt. Gen. Patrick Donahue II, deputy commanding general of United States Army Forces Command. Outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin, and wife Stephanie, will next serve with 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea.

Donahue spoke about the significance of the incoming and former leader, and their importance to the NTC and Fort Irwin. He described the generals as “the best trainers the Army has” and this combat training center as one where the United States Army learns to win in a complex world. This is where the Army prepares units and develops leaders, to be ready when the nation calls.

“The Soldiers assigned here, from private to major general, are amongst the best we have – innovative, skilled, competent and dedicated to make our Army ready for any contingency or combat mission,” Donahue said.

Donahue acknowledged the roles of the generals’ family members as representative of all Army families, who make a commitment alongside their Soldiers.

“Thank you for allowing your Soldiers to do what they do,” Donahue said. “None of us could serve without your support and sacrifice.”

The new commander expressed thanks to the FORSCOM leadership, including FORSCOM Commander Gen. Mark Milley, for the opportunity to lead here.

“It is a dream come true,” Martin said. “I’m humbled by your confidence and I won’t let you down, and I understand what we do here and I will work every day to deliver.”

Martin said he and his wife, Leann, are delighted to be back in the desert (he previously served here with Operations Group from 1993-95) and look forward to re-connecting with some old friends and building new relationships.

“The mission here and the support of this community for military service members and civilians and their family members is superb,” Martin said. “I am sure the bond is going to be strengthened even more as we work together as a team to continue to not only train our nation’s fighting forces, but ensure that our families are cared for and afforded all the opportunities they richly deserve.”

Martin thanked his predecessor, who he has known for 30-plus years, beginning at the U.S. Military Academy.

“I’ve been amazed by the legacy that you’ve left, the standards that you set, but probably most importantly – the very personal way that you set conditions for a smooth and effortless transition,” Martin said.

Martin graduated from West Point in 1986 as an armor officer. From 1987 to 1990, he served as a tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader and company executive officer with 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment in the 1st Armored Division. Upon graduation from the Armor Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned to 4th Battalion, 37th AR, 1 ID where he commanded B Company during Operation Desert Storm and at Fort Riley, Kan. He then commanded 1st Battalion, 67th AR, 4th ID during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Ba’Qubah, Iraq and at Fort Hood, Texas. He commanded the 2nd Brigade, 1st ID at Fort Riley and deployed with that command to serve in northwest Baghdad. Following brigade command, he became the chief of staff of III Corps in Fort Hood. From June 2012 to April 2013, he commanded the U.S. Army Operational Test Command. Most recently he served as the Deputy Commanding General (Maneuver) for the 1st Cavalry Division.

Martin is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

His awards and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device. He also earned the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.