SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: June 19, 2008
at change of command ceremony
Gen. John Macdonald, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army
Installation Management Command, (center), passes the colors
to incoming commander Lt. Col. Kari K. Otto during a change
of command ceremony at the U.S. Army Garrison – Natick, U.S.
Army Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Mass., on June 6.
Outgoing commander Col. Gregory Ulsh looks on from the
right. (Photo by Rob Hawley.)
Click for Larger Photo
NATICK, Mass. --
On June 6, the U.S. Army Garrison – Natick, located at the U.S. Army
Soldier Systems Center (SSC) here, held a Change of Command Ceremony
where outgoing commander Col. Gregory J. Ulsh passed the flag,
literally and figuratively, to Lt. Col. Kari K. Otto, incoming
Passing of the colors is done to inspire Soldiers, Hal Griffin, the
narrator for the event said. They have long been a rallying point of
hope, inspiration, strength and unity.
The official change of command was performed when Command Sgt. Maj.
Mittie Smith, passed the colors to Ulsh as the departing commander,
who passed them to Maj. Gen. John Macdonald, deputy commanding
general for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM)
and the host of the ceremony. Macdonald then presented the colors to
Otto, who in turn, relayed them back to Smith.
During remarks that followed, Macdonald said it was a “monumental
day in the history of Natick.”
Commenting that Ulsh had done an “exceptional job,” and mentioning
the implementation of the Standard Garrison Organization and
improvements to safety as some highlights, Macdonald continued by
saying he thought that Otto was “equally capable of continuing that
great leadership with the same zest and commitment.”
Ulsh said the Garrison had a “busy and challenging” time during the
past year. Although we had a tremendous change to the organization,
he said, the Natick Garrison roles and mission are now more closely
aligned with other IMCOM garrisons. “We are more effective and
efficient,” he said.
He commended the Garrison staff for their “dedication and
commitment,” and also commented that he was confident in Otto’s
skills for the job.
“Her three years at IMCOM gives her a better advantage,” he said.
Otto said she is “thrilled to be at Natick,” and the position is the
“opportunity of a lifetime.”
Calling SSC’s mission like no other, she said the work done here
impacts the Warfighters on the battlefield directly.
“You take tomorrow’s technology and make it reality today,” she
Both Otto and Ulsh took time to thank their families and other
personnel who have helped them along the way.
Macdonald closed his remarks by saying something that he said is not
Addressing not only the official party, but also the audience, he
said, “To each and every one of you, no matter if you are in a tie,
scarf, Air Force uniform or Army uniform, thank you for what you do
for our Soldiers and their families every day.”