May 15, 2017: U.S. Army Col. Scott M. Halter took office as the Garrison Commander at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Halter succeeds Col. Robert A. O’Brien IV, who held the post for the last two years. The change-in-command ceremony was accomplished with the help of Davis D. Tindoll, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s Atlantic Region. The three men passed the garrison flag to represent a change in leadership, a ceremony that dates back roughly 240 years, according to an announcer at the ceremony. Lanessa Hill, a Public Affairs Supervisor for the Garrison at Fort Detrick, said that being a Garrison Commander was comparable to being “mayor of a city.” The position is responsible for ensuring that infrastructure needs are met across the base and that services are properly administered to soldiers, she said. Fort Detrick supports more than 39,000 active-duty soldiers, civilians, retirees and their families. The base houses military services and several research institutions. In his farewell speech, O’Brien thanked the men and women across the Garrison who made his work possible, stating “Every one of you here is a war fighter, directly responsible for the responsiveness of our force.” O’Brien described the Army’s current resource-constrained environment as one of his biggest challenges while working as the Garrison Commander. Hill said that throughout O’Brien’s two years on the job, he focused strongly on local outreach, coordinating with Frederick and other communities to increase Fort Detrick’s involvement in local events such as public school career fairs and July Fourth celebrations at Baker Park in Frederick. O’Brien’s next position is the Executive Officer to the NATO Land Component Commander in Izmir, Turkey. Halter, the new Commander, has spent twenty-one years in the Army, and he started as an aviation officer. Before taking over the command at Fort Detrick, he worked on the Army Staff in G8 Force Development at the Pentagon.