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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: June 19, 2008
No: 08-17

Thanks abound at change of command ceremony

Maj. 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.)

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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 commander.

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 continued.

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 said enough.

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.”

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.