The general officer who became the face of BRAC at Aberdeen Proving Ground and around Harford County over the past two and a half years relinquished command of theU.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command during a change of responsibility ceremony on post Friday morning.
Maj. General Nick Justice turned over leadership of RDECOM to a civilian, Dale E. Ormond, who will have the title of RDECOM director.
All the seats in the APG Post Theater were full for the ceremony which marked a milestone in the history of APG and in the career of Justice, who is retiring after 42 years of service in the Army.
Last September, the Army declared the six-year realignment that shifted a number of new activities and thousands of civilian jobs to APG successfully completed.
Two years earlier, as the base realignment process begun in 2005 accelerated at APG, Justice arrived from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to head RDECOM and became APG's ranking general. With many of the operations that transferred to APG under BRAC also coming from Fort Monmouth, Justice was an ideal candidate to oversee the most demanding logistical period of the realignment process, many people at Friday's ceremony noted.
Friday's ceremony was presided over by General Ann E. Dunwoody, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, who noted she had known Justice for most of their Army careers.
Following the ceremony, a long line formed, as people waited to say a few words to Justice and wish him well. Among Harford County dignitaries attending the ceremony were county Economic Development Director Jim Richardson, whose office worked closely with Justice on BRAC, and Aberdeen City Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck.
A retirement ceremony is planned for Justice at a later date, according to the post command.
Ormond, the new RDECOM director, is a former Navy submarine officer and a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a master of science degree in environmental systems engineering from Clemson University and has Level III certification in Department of Defense Acquisition Program Management. With a background in nuclear safety, industrial facility operations and nuclear/ chemical waste disposal, Ormond's resume spans more than 25 years with the Department of Energy and Department of Defense. He was selected for Senior Executive Service in July 2004.
Ormond was most recently assigned to U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he had served as deputy to the commanding general since 2008. He previously served as the deputy assistant secretary of the Army (for elimination of chemical weapons) and as acting deputy assistant secretary of the Army for policy and procurement.
Aegis staff report by Matt Button and Allan Vought