Teams in transition

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard

The summer transition season is upon us.

I wish fair winds and following seas to all of our departing service members, professional civilians and their families who have served as part of Team Meade.

On behalf of our extraordinary garrison team, it has been our privilege to serve and protect you.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with an observation that rings true, especially for military families: the only constant is change. Our teammates, formations, workspaces and conditions are constantly changing and evolving —sometimes too quickly, sometimes too slowly.

At Fort Meade, we see physical changes daily as we work to improve our roads and facilities for the cyber-related growth over the next five years or so.

We also see changes to our organizations, most notably the elevation of U.S. Cyber Command to a Combatant Command and the addition of multiple, specialized organizations to our post.

Our garrison family is changing, too. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation team has moved into Pershing Hall at 4550 Llewellyn Ave., and will soon be followed by the Directorate of Human Resources team, associated in/out processing functions and the Installation Safety Office.

Our Environmental Division, fire inspectors and Internal Review Office will move to join their parent directorate, the Directorate of Public Works, at 4216 Roberts Ave.

We have welcomed a new Headquarters Command Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Tom Chapeau, and new company commanders for Headquarters and Headquarters Company and the 241st Law Enforcement Detachment, Capt. Lea Bourdon and Capt. Sonny Saleutogi, respectively.

In August, we will welcome the new garrison commander, Col. Erich Spragg, and his family.

With change comes opportunities and challenges. Change without purpose or understanding can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes, we resist change because we are performing well now — “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

But, sometimes, we don’t realize that although we may be “right” today, we may not be “right” tomorrow without changing to meet evolving conditions.

By carefully separating actions that need to change from our personal identities, we become more powerful teammates and embrace necessary change to excel in the future. How we perform our duties defines who we are, more so than what duties we perform in service to our nation.

Heraclitus is also credited with the observation that a person cannot step in the same river twice; the waters are different and the person has changed from the experience.

Some conditions and actions that were absolutely “right” yesterday may not be “right” tomorrow; the rivers have changed and so have our people. Each of us has fond memories of missions or services that were highly successful. But we must also recognize that the exact same conditions, people and outcomes cannot be duplicated.

The rivers have changed.

As our people and “rivers” change at Fort Meade, please extend a warm welcome to newcomers joining us this summer. Help them navigate our community and find the many resources available on and off post.

Treat newcomers as you want to be treated and make them part of your team’s family.

We are securing the futures of our grandchildren with our actions every day. Look for the opportunities in change.

Team Meade!

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