Colonel Kevin Gregory, Fort Stewart garrison commander for the last three years, bid farewell to friends and the community Wednesday at Club Stewart during a change of command.
“It’s tough to describe,” Gregory said about the day’s event. “It’s really kind of bittersweet. I mean the whole fact of the matter is we’ve been here three years and just really become part of the community and that’s what you want.”
“It’s just, it’s been awesome, is the bottom line,” the colonel said, describing his time as garrison commander.
During Gregory’s tenure, the garrison won gold in the Army Community of Excellence Award this year, meaning Fort Stewart was recognized as the best installation in the Army. He also helped coordinate the replacement of the trees on Warrior’s Walk.
“It was not easy,” 3rd Infantry Division Commanding General Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, said in a video message from Afghanistan. “We had to work through some things, but your personal oversight and attention to detail. And, really, your respect for that memorial are what got it to where it is today with the tree replacement.”
Red roses were given to Gregory’s wife, Brenda, otherwise known as “Gabby,” his daughters, and other family members. Gabby Gregory also received the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award during the ceremony, for her work to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families.
Yellow roses were given to Mary Elizabeth, wife of Colonel Townley Hedrick, the post’s new garrison commander, and their daughter.
For the change of command, Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Myron Lewis passed the garrison guidon to Gregory, who then passed it to Davis Tindoll Jr., director of Installation Management Command Atlantic Region, who presided at the ceremony. Tindoll then passed it to Hedrick and he then passed it to Lewis, officially completing the change.
Tindoll then spoke about Gregory and welcomed the new garrison commander.
“The Army does not train its officers to be garrison commanders,” he said. “But it does develop leaders, leaders who are capable, innovative and motivated to handle the challenges of the garrison. And that’s how I would describe Col. Kevin Gregory.”
Tindoll said, “Over the past three years, Col. Gregory lived up to those expectations and then some. Under his command, the garrison provided critical support to the soldiers deploying and assured the well-being of their families here at Stewart.”
Gregory will be the new chief of staff for U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
When welcoming Hedrick, Tindoll said the new commander brings experience to the position with three combat tours and having just completed his time at the Army War College.
“Col. Hedrick, I’m confident with your demonstrated leadership. You will build on the successes of your predecessors. The challenges are many, but I’m confident that you will bring energy and excellence to this garrison command and this Army Community of Excellence.”
Hedrick said he is excited to learn about the community and how the garrison works.
“The first thing (Gregory) said is, it’s the best time he’s ever had,” Hedrick said before the ceremony. “He has loved this job and loved the community and loved the garrison team. And again, you see that. So, his best advice was you’ve got a great team and you’ve got a great community and you’ve got a great post, you know, just go with it. I’ve taken that to heart.”
“Well the first thing I want to do is just see how the post works,” Hedrick said. “And as the garrison, I mean, we’re all about customer service. So that’s what I want to see is, how do we do customer service, taking care of soldiers of the 3rd ID.”