New commander takes charge at U.S. Army Operational Test Command

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Col. David W. Gardner speaks during Assumption of Command ceremonies welcoming him as the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s 30th commander at West Fort Hood, Texas Friday. (Courtesy: Fort Hood Press Center)

WEST FORT HOOD, Texas – Senior leaders, friends and family social-distanced during a ceremony welcoming the 30th commander to the unit responsible for testing all new and modernized Army equipment at Fort Hood Friday.

Col. David W. Gardner arrives to the U.S. Army Operational Test Command from the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) Operations Group at Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he ran all the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams through training rotations as close to real combat as possible for two years.

Broadcast via Facebook live-stream, ceremony host Brig. Gen. James J. Gallivan, commander of OTC’s higher headquarters U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC), rattled off the likes of previous OTC Commanders such as current Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Joseph M. Martin; Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson at U.S. Army North, Maj. Gen Kenneth R. Kamper at Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence; and Maj. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon of the Army Corps of Engineers.

With a Texas “Howdy,” Gallivan recognized Gardner’s extended family, including his mother and father, brothers, aunts and uncles across the country from New Jersey to Florida who were watching the ceremony live-stream.

He highlighted Gardner’s most recent assignments as 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team commander with the 1st Infantry Division; JRTC Operations Group Commander; and now commander of OTC.

Col. David W. Gardner (left) receives the colors of the United States Army Operational Test Command from Brig. Gen. James J. Gallivan, commander of OTC’s higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, during Assumption of Command ceremonies at West Fort Hood, Texas Friday. Gardner arrives at OTC after two years in charge of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), Operations Group at Fort Polk, Louisiana. (Courtesy: Fort Hood Press Center)

Gallivan said Gardner is both an operator and a thinker. He proclaimed Gardner as the perfect commander at the perfect time for OTC.

Gallivan said Gardner’s leadership blend is what is necessary for OTC’s equipment testing mission.

When Gardner stepped to the podium, he first promised Soldiers bearing the Nation’s and unit’s colors they would not have much longer to stand.

He thanked Gallivan for the confidence he has entrusted in him and said, “I look forward to working with you and the rest of the ATEC team.”

He thanked his wife Evee of 26 years, and his two children for sticking with him.

To former OTC Commanders, he said, “Thank you to all of the former commanders of OTC who have generously given their time over the past few weeks to share lessons and advice for my command of OTC.

Brig. Gen. James J. Gallivan, commander of OTC’s higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, speaks during Assumption of Command ceremonies as Col. David W. Gardner becomes the 30th commander of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at West Fort Hood, Texas Friday. (Courtesy: Fort Hood Press Center)

Source: Fort Hood Press Center

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