By Nick Minecci
USAG Public Affairs
Colonel Allan J. Darden, Sr. became the 39th United States Army Garrison Fort Detrick commander July 15 during a ceremony on Blue and Gray Field, succeeding Col. Judith D. Robinson as the Garrison commander.
Darden assumes command following finishing a graduate degree at the Industrial College of Armed Forces, and as deputy director of human resources at the Office of the Army Surgeon General.
Following the ceremony, Darden said that while he and his family have only been in Frederick a short time, it has already made an impact.
"I just fell in love with the people and the city, and I think it's just going to be a great tour for us," he said. Darden added he is, "looking forward to working with the community, continuing the work that Col. Robinson had started."
Continuing those partnerships during a period of transition for Fort Detrick is something Maj. Gen. James K. Gilman, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick, stressed in his remarks at the ceremony.
Among the top priorities during the coming months and years for the Garrison staff is Fort Detrick's transition from the Army Medical Department to the Installation Management Command, and the Sept. 15 deadline to complete changes under the military's Base Realignment and Closure.
Commenting about the changes that began during her tenure as commander, Robinson told Darden and the assembled crowd, "Col. Allan Darden - AJ - you and Freda are about to embark on the best years of your lives. The two of you are the right team, at the right place, at the right time."
Speaking about her own time in command at Fort Detrick, Robinson, who is headed to Carlisle Barracks, said, "It is hard to leave this place that I have come to love so much, but it is so much easier knowing the quality of the leader that will be carrying on this great organization to greater heights than I could even imagine.
"Frederick, you have simply captured my heart. Thank you all for welcoming me into your homes and your organizations and allowing me to be a small part of what makes you all so great," she said.