WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Dave Brown is taking over the reins from previous WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Brian Michelson.
Where are you from and where is home for you?
I’m from Delaware so that is home for me. That is where I graduated from high school and college, prior to joining the Army.
Tell me about yourself?
My dad retired out of Holloman Air Force Base in 1981 but prior to Holloman we moved around a bit. We used to live in England before Holloman and then we moved back to Delaware when he retired.
When you were younger, what did you aspire to be?
I don’t think I really knew, I always thought I was going to join the Air Force but then I wanted to be a game warden. I started pursuing being a game warden through my studies and realized I needed money to go to college. I joined the Army reserves because I was too young to join the Air Force and I used the GI Bill to go into the University of Delaware.
What led you to the Army?
I never thought about a career in the Army but I decided to join ROTC in college because I had already been to basic training and I thought I would do well. I did exceptionally well so I started thinking that I was pretty good at this and that I should give the Army an opportunity to see how it works. I’ve now been a commissioned officer for the past 26 years. Would I change anything? Heck no. I have had so many opportunities in the Army to do so many diverse and unique things that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
What have you learned from your previous leadership roles?
It’s all about demonstrating excellence wherever you go. Be the best you can be, demonstrate excellence no matter where the Army puts you. Be the best platoon leader, XO, commander or civil servant, it doesn’t matter. Deliver the best. No matter what job you get, be the best at it and be a value added to the organization.
What do you and your wife like to do for fun?
We like to go watch baseball, we look for the nearest Triple A baseball team we can find. I’m positive we’ll go see the El Paso Chihuahuas soon. We like outdoor activities and we also like to watch movies. Christina likes to run as well.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to do anything that’s outdoors and demands physical activity. I like to run and mountain/road bike. I also like to hunt and fish. I was brought up to love the outdoors, I’m not a homebody. I’m always looking for something to do. I like to stay busy all of the time and stay engaged. I’m really anxious to get my bikes here.
What is your career field and why did you choose it?
I wanted to be an infantry officer but it was another time in the Army’s cycle where they were drawing down. It was very difficult to become a regular Army officer out of college. I was fortunate that I was assessed and received regular Army commission in the Ordnance Officer branch, detailed to the infantry. I was an infantry officer for two to three years and then I became an ordnance officer and that’s what I’ve done ever since.
Have you been to WSMR before?
I think my dad and I played golf here when I was a teenager. I was here when the space shuttle landed and I remember watching the landing in the television at school and going out and looking at the shuttle. I remember I had a good time here, I was a young teen just 13 years old. There was never a lack of good weather. I was always able to get out to do kid’s stuff like go fishing with my dad and brother. I have nothing but good memories.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time here as the garrison commander?
These are challenging times right now. How do we take care of Soldiers and families that operate here at WSMR with diminishing resources? It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a balancing act. How do we meet the expectations of the community, knowing this is a remote installation with limited resources? How do you take care of the installation to form that team to meet the requirements so the Test Center can do the nation’s business here and continue to give the U.S. that strategic edge? Our job is to make sure the installation can function and deliver to our national security. There’s really nothing in the Army that prepares you to be a garrison commander. I’m a humble enough guy to know that I don’t know a lot. I’ve got 25 years of leadership experience but I know we have that expertise resident in the garrison to make the best decisions for the installation. I can’t do this by myself, I’m smart enough to know that.
Is there anything you would like to add?
It’s going to be an exciting time. Everybody that I met has been extremely gracious, warm and welcoming. I met with the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee and they were just so hospitable and nice. The workforce that’s here at WSMR are just the nicest, friendliest people. When I first arrived I wasn’t known yet as the incoming garrison commander so I introduced myself as Dave and everybody treated me very well, like I was already a part of the community. They made me feel a part of their tight knit community. Christina and I are really looking forward to the next two years but we can’t forget what the mission of the United States Army Garrison is, which is to take care of the Soldiers and the families so the installation can achieve their mission in delivering strategic advantages and capability to the nation. I’m looking forward to engaging with the different directorates and organizations on post, in the near future. I’m also looking forward to improving and strengthening our partnership with the surrounding community.