USAG Casey has new commander
CAMP CASEY - The garrison responsible for the day-to-day operation of U.S. Army bases in and near Dongducheon has a new commander following a June 11 ceremony on Camp Casey.
Lt. Col. Edward D. Eldridge assumed command of U.S. Army Garrison Casey, replacing Lt. Col. Steven G. Finley, who moves to a new assignment at Eighth U.S. Army in Seoul after commanding USAG Casey for the past two years.
Eldridge's most recent previous assignment was with the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), where he served as the G3, Chief of Training Division and later as the Deputy G3.
USAG Casey provides facilities and services to units, Soldiers and families in the Casey enclave in and near Dongducheon -- Camps Casey, Hovey, Mobile and Castle North.
Services provided include water and electricity, upkeep of buildings, barracks and motor pools; child care, sports, recreation and other programs. Camp Casey is home to a Department of Defense school, the Casey Elementary School.
The change-of-command ceremony went forward inside the Carey Physical Fitness Center, with music provided by the 2nd Infantry Division Band.
During remarks at the ceremony, Col. John M. Scott, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I, credited Finley's "amazing leadership" for numerous major improvements made to the Casey enclave.
They included several recently-renovated facilities: Maude Hall -- a key in- and out-processing center for Soldiers assigned to Warrior Country, and the post commissary, library, and bowling center; a partnership with the Yangju Immigration Office for aid in obtaining visas; what Scott called a "first-rate" Army Career Transition Center and an "impressive" pedestrian and biking sidewalk that runs the entire length of Casey Boulevard, a key thoroughfare.
Other important improvements to the enclave include an outdoor pool and kid's splish-and-splash, "to name just a few," Scott said.
"I know Lt. Col. Finley would tell you it was a team effort," said Scott. "That's the kind of guy he is. And indeed it was, but with a team there is a leader who must provide vision, direction, energy…,"he said.
"So to be sure, his hands-on leadership style ensured the Casey-Hovey enclave was exceptionally better off than when he got here just two short years ago," Scott said.
Addressing himself to Eldridge as "the newest Casey commander," Scott said "Eddie, I know you will do amazing things here at Camp Casey. So welcome aboard. I personally look forward to working with you."
Finley devoted the bulk of his departing remarks to thanking those he'd worked for and with, including members of the Korean community.
He thanked Debra D. Zedalis, director, Pacific Region, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, for her 'constant teachings, coaching and mentorship" to garrison leaders.
"Ms. Zedalis always took the time to share her wealth of knowledge and experience with us all," Finley said. "We are grateful for her drive and energy, her dedication and zeal, and her unyielding commitment and service" to IMCOM.
Finley thanked leaders of the 2nd Infantry Division for their "guidance, coaching, and giving us a sense of purpose and direction as we continued to expand and improve our facility capabilities and services" to Warrior Country families.
Of the top leaders of the U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud and Area I, Finley said, "This team of professionals is definitely the right team, at the right time, at the right place….Teamwork, tone and tenacity. I wish you all the very best. Keep the pace going strong."
Finley also thanked, among others, his fellow-members of the USAG Casey command team, and fellow-battalion-level leaders, their wives, and the USAG Red Cloud and Area I civilian staff and community volunteers, for their "steadfast commitment to improving the lives of others" and making USAG Casey a better place to "work, live and train."
"The goal was to leave it better than you found it and you hit a grand slam" Finley said.
Eldridge, in his remarks, said he was taking command "fully aware of the privilege that has been bestowed upon me, and I do not take this highest responsibility lightly."
Eldridge is a 1995 graduate of Virginia Tech and was commissioned as an Infantry officer. He later completed the Special Forces Qualification Course.
He holds a master's degree in defense analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
His previous assignments include service as the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan liaison officer to Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.
In addition, he has earned the Air Assault Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Badge, Combat Diver Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, and multiple foreign parachutist badges.