Respect and admiration

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard

I want to express my gratitude for the teamwork from many different groups who make Fort Meade a wonderful place to work, live, learn and play.

My family and I have been blessed to serve and live here; we are thankful for so many people helping us become part of the community.

To our elected leaders at the federal, state, county and district level: thank you for your support, recognizing Fort Meade’s importance to national security, and caring for our workforce and families’ well-being.

To our Community Covenant Council partners from the Fort Meade Alliance, BWI Partnership, Central Maryland Chamber and the Howard County Chamber: thank you for your sincere and incredible support to our service members, professional civilian employees and their families.

To our amazing educators and staff from Anne Arundel County Public Schools who serve in the seven county schools on Fort Meade: thank you for your tireless efforts to educate our children and make us a cyber dynasty in education.

To all the former garrison commanders, many of whom are still supporting Fort Meade locally – Brian Foley, Ed Rothstein, Dan Thomas, Ken McCreedy, John Ives, and many others: thank you for being patient, helpful, and making me a better commander.

To our tenant command partners, especially the workhorses from the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade; Cryptologic Warfare Group Six; 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaisance Wing; 780th MI Brigade; 902nd MI Group; and Marince Corps Support Battalion: thank you for outstanding teamwork and efforts to support so many events benefiting our community.

To all of our amazing volunteers — adults, children, active-duty service members, retirees, and civilian employees: thank you for making great community events possible.

This year we recognized over 3,200 volunteers for providing 46,000 hours — a value of more than $1.2 million.

To our garrison support partners, including Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, Epes Dental Clinic, Network Enterprise Center, Logistics Readiness Center, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, AAFES, the Fort Meade Commissary, American Water, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Corvias, and the U.S. Corps of Army Engineeers, Baltimore District: thank you for your incredible support to our large, diverse, joint and interagency population.

And on behalf of everyone who lives or works at Fort Meade, special gratitude to our outstanding garrison workforce. The post population has increased 50 percent in the last nine years, but the Army reduced our staff by 26 percent in that time.

To paraphrase Churchill, “Never have so few done so much to support so many.”

Most people will never understand the challenges of your duties or fully respect how amazing you are, but I do. You have my eternal respect and admiration for your professional support to the Fort Meade community.

You run this town, and nobody does it better!

Finally, I would be lost without support from my family. I am proud of my darling daughter for being so resilient; one of her parents has been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan for a third of her life.

Most of all, I am grateful to my wife for her unyielding support, personal sacrifices, and loving me when nobody else would.

To all the teammates who have been so supportive, please provide that same assistance and warm welcome to Col. Erich Spragg and his family as they work to make our home even better.

Commanding the garrison at Fort George G. Meade has been a privilege and an absolute honor for me.

Thank you all for the opportunity to serve Team Meade!

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