Col. Michelle Williams takes the Finance/Comptroller School colors from Col. Jason T. Edwards, Soldier Support Institute commander, during a change of commandant ceremony for the Finance/Comptroller School, July 21. (Photo Credit: Nathan Clinebelle)

Female commandant to lead finance school

By Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

A “highly-passionate, intelligent person” took command of the Army Finance and Comptroller School during a change of commandant ceremony, July 21. The newly-welcomed commandant is also the first female commandant in the history of the school since its inception in 1775, when the Second Continental Congress established the office of Paymaster General of the Army.

Col. Michelle M. Williams, a St. Louis native and a 1999 distinguished military graduate of the ROTC program at Florida Institute of Technology, took command of the school from Col. Gregory R. Worley during a ceremony held at the Soldier Support Institute on post.

Col. Jason T. Edwards, Soldier Support Institute commander, presided over the ceremony.

Williams and her spouse are no strangers to serving others and the nation as her husband is a retired Coast Guard Reserve captain and Delta Airlines pilot.

Following the ceremonial passing of the colors from Worley to Williams, Edwards spoke to the group and lauded Worley’s resilience and dedication as well as his desire and drive to learn as much as possible following his commission as an officer and transition to the finance branch.

“Greg is a family man. Greg loves Soldiers and he loves the Army,” Edwards said. “Greg was 100% committed toward becoming the best finance officer possible. In some cases, Soldiers owe their lives to you for your effort and your dedication.”

“Thank you, Col. Worley, for leaving us a time-honored legacy as the 41st chief of the corps and commandant of the Finance and Comptroller schoolhouse,” said Williams, who commissioned in the Finance Corps in May 1999.

Her Army career “shows an incredible blend of troop and staff assignments,” Edwards said. He continued to commend her for her tours at the Pentagon and participating in several key events prior to the change of commandant.

“This is all being done at the same time in direct support of all the operations in Europe,” Edwards said. “But you did it with grace. And what we’re getting is a highly passionate, intelligent person ready to lead our folks over the next couple of years.”

“I look forward to integrating and immersing ourselves in this Fort Jackson community,” Williams said. “To the Soldiers, (Department of the Army) Civilians, and Family members of the Finance and Comptroller Schoolhouse, I look forward to being your commandant and chief.”

“I will never let you down,” Williams affirmed. “You’re all doing fantastic work and we’ll continue to exceed the highest standards by being adaptive and innovative with supporting our ever-changing Army.”