By Mary Doyle, Fort Meade Public Affairs Office
U.S. Army Garrison Fort George G. Meade Virtual Change of Command Ceremony
Col. Christopher M. Nyland assumed command from Col. Erich C Spragg as Fort George G. Meade garrison commander in ceremonies today, August 18, 2020, at Fort Meade, Md. Spragg had commanded Fort Meade since August 2018.
Col. Spragg’s next duty station will be in Quantico, Va., where he will serve as the Army Chair of the United States Marine Corps War College.
“Prior to taking command at Meade, I, like most folks in the Army, had no idea of what a garrison did. I just blamed them when something was wrong. I didn’t have a clue or even care about what a garrison did or how they did it. They were there to serve me and those of us who have the “real” missions.” said Spragg in his speech today. “Today, I’m here to tell you I couldn’t have been more wrong. While it is true that a garrison’s primary mission is to support its tenants, I can say without a doubt that the 119 mission partners on Meade would not be able to do their critical missions without the garrison and its more than 900 professionals.”
Mr. Davis D. Tindoll Jr., Director, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Sustainment Directorate, hosted the ceremony via video link from Redstone Arsenal, Al.
“The centerpiece of the Army’s Installation Management Command is the garrison and the individuals leading that organization are integral to us achieving success,” said Tindoll. “However, the Army doesn’t train its officers to be garrison commanders, but it does train them to be awesome leaders. Leaders that are innovative, motivated and capable of handling the challenges of this type of command and [Col Spragg] you have lived up to that task.”
Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, Commanding General, Military District of Washington and Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, passed the guidon flag from Spragg to Nyland in the symbolic transfer of authority.
“Information is the lifeblood of national security and the heart of our nation’s information, intelligence and cyber operations is right here on Fort Meade,” said Jones. “I have always been impressed that as the importance of Fort Meade has grown and the size of Fort Meade has grown, what has never changed is the people and their commitment to excellence that goes along with this community.”
Prior to the ceremony, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressional representatives John Sarbanes and C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, along with leadership from the Fort Meade Community Covenant Council, delivered messages of support by video played for the audience. Howard County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman were in attendance at the event. Others sent messages of support through Facebook comments.
“Welcome Col. Nyland,” wrote Maryland State Senator, Pam Beidle. “As the saying goes, you have big shoes to fill! Farewell Col. Spragg. You have done an amazing job. You will be missed.”
Nyland, the 87th Fort Meade commander, recently served at the Pentagon as the Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. Prior to his Pentagon assignment, he commanded the United Nations Command Security Battalion Joint Security Area in the Republic of Korea. In his remarks, he expressed his determination to continue Spragg’s leadership.
“I’m proud to join this team, Team Meade,” said Nyland. “A team of dedicated, caring professionals, and I look forward to developing positive relationships with all the members, partners and supporters in the community so we can deliver only the best for those we serve.”
A native of Seattle, Wash., Nyland was commissioned in 1997 after completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course. He is a graduate of the US Army Ranger School, 82nd Airborne Division Jumpmaster Course. Air Assault School, Military Freefall Jumpmaster School, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course and the Infantry Mortar Leaders Course. A graduate of the University of Washington, Col. Nyland holds a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University.
(Editor’s note: Read Col. Nyland’s military bio at https://home.army.mil/meade/index.php/about/leadership/garrison-commander)