NEWS | Aug. 12, 2013

SMDC changes command

By U.S.\r\nArmy Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Lt. Gen. David L. Mann assumed command of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense from Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica during a ceremony conducted in the Von Braun III auditorium Aug. 12.

Mann recently served as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky., from February 2011 to July 2013, where he was responsible for more than 13,000 Soldiers and civilians assigned throughout the United States, Europe and the Far East with the primary mission of meeting the Army's recruiting goals.

U.S. Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commanding general, U.S. Strategic Command, presided over the ceremony.

"It is a privilege for me to be officiating at a Change of Command that involves the world's best Army," Kehler said. "I am flattered to preside over a ceremony that recognizes, not just the accomplishments of two senior leaders, but really the accomplishments of a whole lot of Soldiers and civilians.

"It's been a pleasure for me to work with SMDC. It's a pleasure for me to work with these great Soldiers and wonderful civilians who make up this great command," he added.

Kehler spoke of the leadership Formica has provided USASMDC/ARSTRAT during his command and thanked him for his service to his troops and to his country.

"What a great day it is for the Formica family," Kehler said. "Dick, thanks for every single thing you have done for your country, for the Army and for the joint team. You have been spectacular.

"On behalf of all the men and women of the United States Strategic Command, on behalf of the Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the entire joint force, I say thanks, Dick, for what you've done," he added. "Thanks to you from the men and women who work for you and serve us so ably and so well."

Kehler then welcomed Mann to the command and wished him well as he begins the next chapter in his military career.

"For the Mann family, welcome to the U.S. Strategic Command and to the Space and Missile Defense Command," Kehler said. "Dave, today you take command of these incredibly capable and strategically vital commands. You are going to lead them in a period of unprecedented change and uncertainty in our world."

After Kehler spoke, Formica talked about, not only the command he is leaving, but about the SMDC family he will miss.

"Let me thank each and every one of you for attending today," Formica said. "Gen. Kehler, we thank you for your leadership and your service. I have personally grown as a result of your leadership and your example. I am honored to have served with you.

"To the many activities that support our Soldiers, our sailors, our airmen, our Marines, our civilians, our wounded warriors, our veterans, and their families, thank you for your tremendous support," he continued.

"Diane and I are so proud to have served on your team," Formica added. "My final charge to you is to be relentlessly focused on providing and integrating space and missile defense capabilities. We should never forget that the most critical space and missile defense capabilities our nation has are the Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians who develop, deploy and operate those technologies."

Formica's official retirement ceremony was held at Fort Myer, Va., July 19.

In a separate ceremony before the change of command, Mann was promoted from major general to lieutenant general by Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Mann thanked everyone for their kind words and said he looks forward to working with Soldiers, civilians and family members of the SMDC community.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this team," Mann said. "When you look at the nature of threats facing us, these commands play an important role in keeping us safe. We feel extremely humbled to be on the team to ensure that the hard-fought freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today are maintained, not only for our kids and our grandkids, but for many generations to come.

"May God bless you and thank you for being here," he added.

Mann was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Defense Artillery upon graduation from Millersville University in 1981. His first assignment was with the 1st Battalion, 62nd Air Defense Artillery, 25th Infantry Division, in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Mann has served at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Monroe, Va.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Washington, DC; Fort Campbell, Ky.; White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; and Fort Knox, Ky.

His commands have included: B Battery, 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery; 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps; commanding general, White Sands Missile Range; commanding general, 32nd Army Air Missile Defense Command; and commanding general, U.S. Army Recruiting Command.

His education includes a Bachelor of Science in biology from Millersville University, a Master of Science in engineering management from George Washington University, and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College. His military education includes the Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Naval War College.

Mann and his wife have two children.