By Tiffany Wood
Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (July 12, 2018) — U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood’s command team changed leaders Tuesday during a combined ceremony at Nutter Field House that featured a change of command and a change of responsibility.

Vince Grewatz, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Training director, presided over the dual ceremony where Col. Tracy Lanier relinquished command to Col. Eric Towns and Command Sgt. Maj. Larry Orvis transferred responsibilities to Command Sgt. Maj. Faith Alexander.

Bidding farewell to Lanier, who will be the Army Futures Command’s Sustainment Battle Lab director at Fort Lee, Virginia, and Orvis, who is the Army’s Provost Marshal General Sergeant Major in Washington, D.C., Grewatz described the team’s character and contributions.

“As a command team, Col. Lanier and Command Sgt. Maj. Orvis are strategic thinkers and that enabled them to focus the Garrison and staff on supporting Fort Leonard Wood more efficiently, more effectively than in the past,” Grewatz said. “It’s been a seamless team operation; team of teams is truly what you see in place here, and it has resulted in the success you have achieved here at Fort Leonard Wood.”

That “great success,” Grewatz said, begins with the “fantastic leadership” that Lanier and Orvis provided over the past two years. To make his point, Grewatz listed the many accomplishments achieved by the team, which included an agreement with St. Robert that established back-up water supplies to be used by the installation during emergencies, winning the 2017 Army Community Partnership Award and making the B.O.S.S. program “one of the best” in the Army.

Although the command team had many achievements, Grewatz said their commitment to the Fort Leonard Wood community and its people are their biggest contributions.

“The greatest legacy is the team that they leave behind, the relationships that they forged, the partnerships that they leave solid to take this installation and the region to the next level,” he said.

Grewatz said that though Lanier and Orvis are moving on to new positions, due to “our great Army,” another team is able to step up and lead the garrison.

“Fortunately for our Army, for IMCOM, for Fort Leonard Wood and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, we don’t have to look far to find another great command team to take the helm of garrison,” Grewatz said. “We’re placing the command in the hands of two very capable leaders, Col. Eric Towns and Command Sgt. Maj. Faith Alexander.”

According to Grewatz, Towns and Alexander bring an “impressive track record of accomplishment, success, commitment, compassion and dedicated leadership to our Army in their past assignments, and I expect nothing less as they move forward.”

Past assignments for Towns include a couple of positions at Fort Leonard Wood. In fact, he said one lasting impression at the installation compelled him to want to be a garrison commander.

“Seven years ago, (my family and I) were residents here as the New Year’s Eve tornado destroyed a large swath of our installation,” Towns said. “We were so incredibly impressed by the professionalism of the garrison staff and the teamwork of our enterprise partners and the outpouring of support from our local communities that it was at that point that I knew if I was ever given the chance to command at the O6 level that I wanted to be a garrison commander.”

He said since returning to the post last summer as the chief of MSCoE’s Requirements Determination Division, the garrison team is still impressive.

“I can certainly say that the Fort Leonard Wood garrison team has continued their record of excellence under the leadership of Col. Lanier and Command Sgt. Maj. Orvis,” Towns said. “I promise that Sgt. Maj. Alexander and I will do everything in our power to uphold the high standards that you have set.”

Alexander, who will join the garrison from the 249th Engineer Battalion, Prime Power, agreed.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the Fort Leonard Wood team and continuing the momentum,” Alexander said.

Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, receives the colors from Vince Grewatz, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Training director, during a combined change-of-command and change-of-responsibility ceremony held July 10 in Nutter Field House. Photo by Mike Curtis, Visual Information Center/Released
Col. Eric Towns passes the colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Faith Alexander signifying her taking responsibility as garrison command sergeant major at Fort Leonard Wood during a ceremony July 10 in Nutter Field House. Photo by Mike Curtis, Visual Information Center/Released