Fort Bliss, TX (KDBC) — The Brigade Modernization Command held a Change of Command Ceremony here March 26 to farewell the outgoing commander, Brig. Gen. Randal A. Dragon, and to welcome the incoming commander, Brig. Gen. John W. Charlton.
During this time honored ceremony Lt. Gen. Keith C. Walker, Commanding General, Futures/Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, officiated the ceremony. Walker spoke to the audience about the accomplishments Dragon yielded during his nearly two year tenure as commander of the BMC.
"Under Dragon’s leadership, the Brigade Modernization Command served as a forcing function for the army. A forcing function to change and to respond to warfigther needs faster. He proved that building and evaluating the network incrementally is the right way to modernize—to buy less, more often,” said Walker. “He made industry part of the process and did so earlier, as well as he made our Centers’ of Excellence have ownership because they are the force modernization proponents and they sponsor capabilities the BMC evaluates.”
During Dragons’ tenure, 143 systems were reviewed during the semi-annual Network Integration Evaluations’. More than 35 systems were recommended for fielding, and 24 have been funded and are in the process of being fielded.
“This is significant because they [Soldiers] now have the first fully integrated network package, and that gets data and voice down to the dismounted Soldier,” said Walker.
Walker said looking into the future of NIEs, Dragon has played an integral role in setting the conditions for a Joint Interagency and Army Evaluation—a multi-national evaluation scheduled to take place in May 2014 to help prepare our joint forces with the future and to make real concepts of the joint capstone concept.
Dragon spoke to senior leaders, Soldiers and family members one last time as the BMC commander, thanking the Soldiers and leaders in 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion for their hard work and dedication to the BMC mission.
“This brigade and battalion has been recognized as the most important organization in the future of our army,” said Dragon.
With six deployments and more than 31 years of active duty service, Dragon paused for a moment before making his final remark.
“It’s been absolutely awesome and I want to thank you for everything you do for our army,” said Dragon.
Charlton spoke to the brigade for the first time as the commander of the BMC.
“As I looked at the fiscal challenges coming into the job, it really struck me that what we do at the Brigade Modernization Command is more important than ever,” said Charlton. “We simply can’t afford to get it wrong when it comes to modernization, and we’ve got to be linked to that army campaign plan for our national objectives protecting our interests around the world.”
Charlton’s most recent assignment was Deputy Commander, Regional Command-East, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan.
“We must remain the dominate land force regardless of our end strength either way we go with our fiscal restraints, and our country and our friends now depend on that,” said Charlton.