Col. James J. Zacchino Jr. passes the unit colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Munoz, Fort Drum garrison senior enlisted adviser, during the Fort Drum garrison change of command ceremony July 23 outside of LeRay Mansion. Zacchino assumed command of the garrison from outgoing commander, Col. Jeffery Lucas. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Fort Drum community members welcome new garrison commander
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 23, 2021) – Col. James J. Zacchino Jr. assumed command of the Fort Drum garrison from outgoing commander Col. Jeffery Lucas during a ceremony July 23 outside LeRay Mansion.
Zacchino previously served at Fort Drum as chief of the logistics training and advising team and deputy brigade support operations officer for the 10th Mountain Sustainment Brigade, and he deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq. He also served as support operations officer and executive officer of the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and he deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan.
“Maria (wife), James (son) and I are very excited to be back in the North Country and part of the Fort Drum team,” Zacchino said. “We have fond memories of our previous time here and of the many friends made on and off the installation.”
Before arriving at Fort Drum, Zacchino completed a U.S. Army War College Fellowship in Rome, Italy, and he served as support operations officer of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command (Forward) in Vicenza, Italy.
During his remarks, Zacchino thanked Lucas for welcoming him back to the North Country and assisting in his transition to garrison commander.
“Your inspiring leadership and dedicated approach in leading the garrison are impressive,” he said. “To the U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Drum team, your remarkable reputation as the Army’s best installation is proudly manifested in taking care of this amazing community while enabling the readiness of the mightiest division in our Army.”
Brenda Lee McCullough, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Directorate-Readiness (ID-R), officiated the ceremony. She commended Lucas for his strong, resourceful and inspiring leadership throughout the past two years, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Col. Lucas managed garrison challenges through collaboration, strategic planning and with strong partnerships which included an outstanding civilian workforce, state and local community leaders, and New York congressional members,” she said. “His command presence was felt throughout the installation during the demanding workload generated by the pandemic, a high deployment and redeployment operation tempo, and extreme cold weather conditions in the winter.”
McCullough credited Lucas’ focus on installation readiness and force protection capabilities that resulted in a $21 million funding project to update the railhead complex on post. She said that Lucas oversaw the expansion of one of the strongest Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) partnerships in the Army.
“IMCOM recognized Fort Drum’s between-occupancy maintenance procedures and adopted them across the entire Installation Management Command,” she said. “Fort Drum was the leader and subject-matter expert on all Army barracks management program execution and is the Army standard for barrack management.”
During his tenure, Lucas also approved the merger of Army Community Service (ACS) support services into the Directorate of Human Resources and created a new Soldier and Family Readiness Division. This provided enhanced support to Soldiers and family members, and it streamlined capabilities to improve readiness across the installation.
Lucas thanked his command team, directors and the entire garrison workforce for their tireless support to the Fort Drum community. He said that civilian employees are often the first people to greet Soldiers and their family members in the morning, and the last people they interact with at the end of the day – whether that is at the access control points, child developments centers, fitness facilities or other support services.
“It has been a privilege to serve with each and every one of you, and thank you for your unwavering support,” Lucas said.