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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: August 21, 2007
No: 07-26

Assumption of Command and Assumption of Responsibility at SSC

Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson Diane Devens, director, northeast region, U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), passes the IMCOM colors to Col. Gregory J. Ulsh, signifying his new role as the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center garrison commander during a ceremony Aug. 14. (Photo by Sarah Underhill)
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Col. Gregory J. Ulsh, U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) garrison commander, passes the IMCOM colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Mittie A. Smith signifying her new role as the SSC Command Sgt. Maj. during a ceremony Aug. 14. (Photo by Sarah Underhill)
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NATICK, Mass. -- "A new era for Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC)," said Diane Devens, director, northeast region, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, during the Assumption of Command for the new Garrison Commander and Assumption of Responsibility for the new Garrison Command Sergeant Major on Aug. 14.

"The importance of your mission cannot be overstated," said Devens, "and the Natick Soldier Systems Center is here to stay."

She continued that nothing says it better than the Army's decision to assign a Garrison Commander and Garrison Command Sergeant Major to this installation. "The Army is committed to investing in the installation and today's ceremony marks that commitment."

She said that Col. Gregory Ulsh, who is the new Garrison Commander, will be a unique asset for SSC as his background includes both Warfighting activities and research and development assignments. Devens mentioned that installation management is a "tough business," and gave Ulsh two key responsibilities.

She told Ulsh that his first responsibility is to provide top quality care and support to the mission, Soldiers and families of the NSSC. She said his second responsibility is to support the Army's continued transformation. That includes remaining a key responsive element and improving services, seeking efficiencies and ensuring the best possible support for Soldiers, she continued.

Welcoming the new Command Sergeant Major, Mittie Smith, Devens said, "She has been a leader everywhere she has been." Smith will be in a unique position, Devens continued, because she will be able to directly influence and support the Soldiers at Natick and also the mission that supports Soldiers. "In a sense she is supporting all the Soldiers in today's Army as well as those in tomorrow's."

Devens told Smith that she has three responsibilities, joking that she has more work than Ulsh. The first of her three responsibilities is to support Ulsh. Devens said that Smith is an integral member of Ulsh's team and he'll lean heavily on her due to her experience with garrison installation management. Her other responsibilities are the same as Ulsh's: care and support to the mission, Soldiers and families of the NSSC and supporting the Army's continued transformation.

John Manning, who has been the Acting Garrison Manager for approximately the past 13 months, spoke after Devens. Manning thanked everyone who assisted him while he was in the position and said it had been an "honor to serve in the position."

He said that he knows Ulsh will be a good fit for the installation and asked all in attendance to provide Ulsh their full support. Regarding Smith, he mentioned as did Devens, that she was an IMA Stalwart Award winner. "Stalwart Awards are presented to employees who exemplify the spirit of the Installation Management Command," he said.

Manning said he is looking forward to working with Ulsh and Smith. "The SSC has a great mission," he said. "And I'm proud to be a part of this important mission."

After a presentation of flowers to his wife and daughter, Ulsh presented his remarks. He said that he's been hearing about Natick and its groundbreaking and exciting work for the past 26 years. "You can't imagine the shock and happiness I felt when I was given this opportunity." He continued by saying he is happy to be here.

Ulsh said that the most important system in our nation's inventory is the Soldier, and the NSSC is the Soldier's biggest supporter and provider.

Both Devens and Ulsh thanked Manning, saying he was always willing to step in so that the garrison could keep providing support even through organizational and personnel changes.

Devens said she is sure that Ulsh and Smith have an exciting and challenging future ahead, which she knows will also be rewarding.

"For the Installation Management Command," she said, "Soldiers and support of our Soldiers is our business. But perhaps those of you working at the Soldier Systems Center know this better than anyone else in the Army. When you go home each night, you know something you did during the day will make Soldiers' lives better. You should experience a deep feeling of accomplishment."

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.