Detrick Change Command

Davis Tindoll Jr., right, director of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Sustainment, passes the garrison’s flag to incoming Fort Detrick Garrison Commander Col. Dexter Nunnally at a change-of-command ceremony Thursday morning. Nunnally replaces Col. Scott Halter, the outgoing commander.

Fort Detrick Garrison Commander Col. Scott Halter passed a gold and red flag to Davis Tindoll Jr., director of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Sustainment, signaling the end of Halter’s command at Detrick.

Halter led as garrison commander for the last two years, acting as the face of the base and serving as second in command under Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb.

Halter is leaving Fort Detrick to take a new role with the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Sustainment in Huntsville, Alabama, where he will oversee 17 Army installations.

Because it is seen as a support unit, the term “garrison” was a derogatory word among people in the Army, a sentiment echoed by the incoming commander, Halter said at his change-of-command ceremony.

But as he took over the role, he understood the duties of garrison and all the work that it does to keep things running on a military post. The responsibilities included overseeing everything from child care to conservation, to running the chapel, from police to photography to family advocacy, he said.

“It’s everywhere from clean water to clean air to sewer, stormwater and housing and electricity and everywhere in between,” he said. “It’s pretty incredible what this team accomplishes, and it’s personally what I’m most proud of.”

Looking back, his favorite part of his job was the people and the community. Under Halter, Fort Detrick won an award for its community relationship with the county, especially for the partnership between police and first responders among the city and the installation.

“My advice is to always try to take care of the people you are charged with serving and serving with,” Halter said.

Halter was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army in 1996. He’s served in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He did not know where Fort Detrick was when he got assigned. He thought it was in New Jersey. But it ended up being his favorite of the places he’s been stationed, he said.

Col. Dexter Nunnally is moving into the role at Fort Detrick, coming from Izmir, Turkey, where he recently served as the assistant chief of staff with the G6 Cyberspace for Allied Headquarters Land Command.

Although he’s new to the area, he’s excited to be in Frederick, in part because of its Civil War history, he said.

Fort Detrick was his first choice for garrison command, and second for his new assignment after the signal brigade, he said.

Nunnally was commissioned as a signal officer, which he described as like being AT&T for the Army. He was deployed as part of three operations, including Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2008.

Coming in as the new commander, he said he will focus on housing and child development centers on the installation. Housing has been a concern among military bases after a Senate subcommittee led to a mandate for better conditions. The child development centers are a personal goal as he is the father of two college-aged children.

Like Halter, he said that the Army does not teach its officers or soldiers about the garrison. He described it as an us-versus-them situation where the garrison gets some blame when people feel they are not supported.

In his comments at the ceremony, he described attending a meeting where the garrison commander spoke. He blamed the commander for issues he was facing.

“Now I’m that guy,” he said.

Nunnally stood across from Halter, watching as Tindoll took the flag from Halter.

Then he turned to Tindoll and grabbed the flag.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

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