GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria change of command ceremony opened with a proper Bavarian send-off on July 10, provided by the Black Powder Shooters of Volsbach. During the ceremony, Col. Adam J. Boyd relinquished command of USAG Bavaria to incoming Col. Christopher R. Danbeck.
While COVID-19 resulted in a reduced guest list and other precautionary measures, hosting a change of command remains essential to transitioning leadership within Army formations — especially for USAG Bavaria, a single garrison that overseas four installations and numerous training camps.
“From the earliest times, armies throughout the world have conducted ceremonies to commemorate victory over an enemy, honor their heroes, celebrate special occasions or to pay homage to their fallen comrades,” said Robert Reed, who narrated the event. “In the United States Army, the foundation of our present ceremonies was laid by the Continental Army. Today’s ceremony is a reflection of procedures practiced since the dawn of our nation.”
The change of command was attended by a few host nation officials, including Mayor Edgar Knobloch of Grafenwoehr, Mayor Hans-Martin Schertl of Vilseck, Mayor Christian Graf of Hohenfels, Third Mayor Reinhold Wildenauer of Weiden, Forest Director Ulrich Maushake of Grafenwoehr, Forest Director Dr. Markus Perpeet of Hohenfels, Lt. Col. Florian Rommel of the Office of the German Military Representative (DMV) and Eschenbach Police Chief Werner Stopfer.
Mr. Tommy R. Mize, director of Installation Management Command Europe, presided over the ceremony. Also, in attendance was Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie, along with both his and Mize’s command sergeant majors. To reduce the number of people physically attending the event, community members were encouraged to watch the live-stream from home.
Mize praised Boyd for his long list of contributions in leading a garrison that spans five communities — including his swift and thorough response to the Army family housing crisis of 2019 — and for his outstanding leadership both prior to and during the global pandemic.
“In leading a very large garrison spanning five communities, Adam has proven his remarkable ability to effectively lead during times both of change and during times of crisis,” said Mize. “And Adams’s leadership of this garrison over the past four and a half months has been absolutely decisive, as this garrison worked with their SRO Brig. General Norrie in the COVID-19 fight. Evidence of the effectiveness of all these measures is that COVID- 19 was virtually eliminated from the community. Community members are now conditioned to comply with the mitigation measures needed to protect them. And we’ve been able to reestablish most services. When you think of that, in that short of a time, it’s absolutely remarkable and very well done.”
Taking the podium, Boyd thanked USAG Bavaria’s distinguished guests, tenant units, partner agencies, personnel office, family, friends and entire military community for the support he received while in command.
“It’s only the end if you think the story is about you — this story isn’t about me,” said Boyd. “This story is about this garrison. The story is about the 7ATC. The story is about our communities, here. So there’s only one thing I can really talk about today, and that’s my gratitude.”
He also had a special message directed to the host nation partners and mayors.
“Friendship is the biggest gift of life, and you gave it to me,” Boyd said in German. “It is hard to leave Bavaria and especially wonderful Grafenwoehr… thank you for all that you have done for me and my family. Servus, habadere, pfiate und Auf Wiedersehn!”
Boyd took command of USAG Bavaria in June 2018. Next, he will continue onto a new assignment as the Director of Operations of the U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Danbeck, the incoming commander, previously served as the Commanding General’s Executive Officer at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, in San Antonio, Texas. While there, he led the IMCOM coronavirus response team.
“He served as IMCOM’s lead for integrating and synchronizing all the efforts of all the garrisons across our army – all 75 of them – and their actions against the fight of COVID-19,” said Mize. “He’s always led from the front and served with distinction.”
Danbeck first commissioned as a 2nd Lt. of Armor in 1997. His overseas deployments include two tours in Iraq.
As commander for USAG Bavaria, Danbeck takes the lead on matters relating to operations, training, morale and welfare of the garrison’s more than 22,500 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors located at four installations across Bavaria.
“I look forward to moving the ball forward here in Bavaria, along with my fellow Brigade and Battalion commanders and partner directors,” said Danbeck. “Thanks for the welcome such that my family has never received in 23 years of service – we really appreciate it.”
He also thanked all his former leadership, peers, subordinates and troopers that had a direct impact on him and his reason to serve.
“All polices and procedures remain in effect,” Danbeck concludes. “Let’s continue to make Bavaria the installation of choice for our army families – home of the 7ATC.”
Learn more about USAG Bavaria’s new leadership, here.
To view more photos from the event, visit USAG Bavaria’s Flickr album, here.