End of an era, new beginnings: USAG Humphreys changes command

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - Col. Michael F. Tremblay, the outgoing garrison commander of United States Army Garrison Humphreys, addresses a crowd of Soldiers, civilians and community members during his change of command ceremony here, June 15. During the ceremony, Tremblay reflected on his past two years here, noting the pride that he took in the team that supported him and the community's efforts to persevere throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Matthew Marcellus)
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - Col. Michael F. Tremblay, the outgoing garrison commander of United States Army Garrison Humphreys, addresses a crowd of Soldiers, civilians and community members during his change of command ceremony here, June 15. During the ceremony, Tremblay reflected on his past two years here, noting the pride that he took in the team that supported him and the community's efforts to persevere throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Matthew Marcellus)

End of an era, new beginnings: USAG Humphreys changes command

by Spc. Matthew Marcellus
USAG Humphreys

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - As the time-honored cycle of leadership change ushers in a new period of transformation for United States Army Garrison Humphreys, the indisputable and definitive legacy of outgoing garrison commander Col. Michael F. Tremblay shall endure.

USAG Humphreys hosted a formal change of command ceremony here, June 15, in which Tremblay ceremoniously passed garrison leadership to Col. Seth C. Graves, the incoming garrison commander, facilitated by Mr. Craig Deatrick, the Installation Management Command-Pacific Director.

“And just like that, it’s over, what a ride. In the end, as it was in the beginning, it’s all about people,” said Tremblay. “I couldn't be more proud of the team that we've assembled here. It's absolutely fantastic.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic response, Tremblay's leadership was crucial as the virus began to spread and envelop the world. Tremblay helped lead efforts to develop strategies for an agile and immediate response to the then-emerging COVID-19 threat.

“Not many are aware, but the garrison was the first to establish and maintain quarantine facilities,” said Tremblay. “We quickly developed what was known as ‘The Playbook’ and sent it to the Army, who published it as an execute order and distributed it across the entire force in mid-March 2020. That playbook became the seminal document and blueprint for every installation in the United States Army, and quite frankly the DOD, to move forward, and I’m very proud of that.”

Tremblay’s leadership also helped to fortify the longstanding partnership that Humphreys shares with Pyeongtaek City and to help strengthen the Republic of Korea – United States alliance. In addition to supporting the community ties, Tremblay collaborated with city officials when issues arose and demonstrated Humphreys' efforts to contain the virus.
“Mike’s ability to convey United States Forces Korea’s efforts and mitigation measures on COVID-19 to the officials of Gyeonggi Province and Pyeongtaek City was crucial in fostering their continued commitment and support to Humphreys and our military community,” said Deatrick. “Mike’s calm demeanor and in-depth understanding of local civic relationships helped minimize some of the negative effects of COVID-19 in these off-post communities.”

An essential aspect of Tremblay's leadership was his effective and widespread use of messaging and social media to ensure that the Humphreys community had consistent information relayed through the “Mike and Tony” and the subsequent “Mike and Benny” Facebook Live shows, among many other efforts.

“As I come full circle, I still remember the day when Lt. Gen. Bills and Maj. Gen. Donahoe turned to me and said ‘Mike, we better do a Facebook live and tell the community about that,” and so the ‘Mike and Tony’ show was born and it quickly became a nightly edition,” said Tremblay. “Then, we transitioned to the ‘Mike and Benny’ show and didn’t miss a beat. I’m truly grateful for the connection with the community and the interaction. It has been fantastic. The three and a half million views will show that most of you agree.”

As Tremblay departs Humphreys, he offers words of welcome and wishes of success to Graves, who officially assumed his command at the ceremony's close.

“I wish you and your family nothing but continued success and happiness,” said Tremblay. “I know you’re going to crush it.”

Graves took the opportunity to address Tremblay and his family, noting their immense contributions and impact left on Humphreys.

“Team Tremblay, you have much to be proud of as you turn the chapter to the next page in your Army Story,” said Graves. “Mike, you’ve left extremely large boots to fill. I look forward to continuing the great work that you and this garrison team have done. Rest assured, as you take ‘your foot off the gas’ to permanently change of station to Fort Benning, I’ll be right behind to put mine on.”

Tremblay concluded his remarks with a quote from poet Maya Angelou before giving his final sendoff to the assembled crowd of Soldiers, civilians and local American and Korean community members.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” said Tremblay. “I know the entire team assembled here made me feel special and incredible. I hope I’ve done the same. Keep your foot on the gas, kill the virus, Katchi Kapshida, once again into the breach, Eagle 6 signing out.”

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