14 July 2011
Commentary: Saying Goodbye
Thanks for the Memories

What a fabulous time the last three years have been! I was indeed blessed to have been given not only the chance to lead here at Fort Detrick, but to stay so long. As most of you may know my time is drawing to a close with the Change of Command on 15 July. I wanted to therefore take this opportunity to share some thoughts with you.

In my 26 short years in the military, I can safely say I have never been so amazed and proud of the people I work with, to include the entire community on and off the installation. The Army Garrison has a dedicated and innovative workforce, who understands their customers and the importance of everything they do in the lives of those they support. But it is easy to provide such support when you are working for such great units doing astounding work in support of our nation and the world, through communication support, medical intelligence, advancements in biological research, medical logistics, medical technology, education, and much much more. Fort Detrick is indeed a national treasure of excellence.

The culture of sustainability that has been embraced across the installation and the fabulous partnerships with the local community and businesses has placed us at the leading edge of enhancing our national security through reaching toward energy independence, water conservation, and a reduced waste stream. But sustainability doesn't stop there it also includes our continued commitments to STEM education on and off the base, employee education and development, fiscal responsibility, and much much more.

At a conference recently one of the speakers shared a quote of unknown attribution - "If you want to do incrementally better - compete. If you want to be exponentially better be cooperative." For me that quote epitomized both Fort Detrick and the Frederick Community, where partnerships and collaboration are second nature.

Just one example on the installation is the National Interagency Confederation of Biological Research which combines efforts from four different cabinet-level agencies represented by seven different agencies, an unprecedented collaboration that is setting the standard for interagency cooperation for our nation. The results will be greater scientific advancements, better use of research dollars, and ultimately, better lives for people around the world.

The Frederick Community is no less impressive. The partnerships between non-profit organizations, local businesses, local/state/and congressional government leaders and the installation provide significant contributions that make the Frederick area one of the best in the nation! Just one example of this has been the Frederick County Roundtable for Education which has supported internships for students, externships for teachers, Future Link (offered at Frederick Community College and supported by many to help launch our 8th graders into their high school years with a sense of what is possible), and the Young Engineers and Science program (a cooperative summer program between Fort Detrick, Hood College, and the Washington County School System).

The above illustrates just a minute snapshot of the opportunities and successes that abound here. It has indeed been an honor and a privilege to be a small part of all that makes up Fort Detrick and the Frederick Community. As I move on to my next Army assignment, I want to thank each and every one of you for all you do every day! And thank you for letting me be a part of it all - it has indeed been an amazing three years! I've truely enjoyed it all!! And that includes the tough times, and we've had some, but out of these come positive new steps and greater understandings.

I will keep you all in my heart wherever life leads me from here and hopefully some day that will include a chance to work with all you again.

With highest regards,

COL Judy Robinson

Posted by PAO

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