By Courtney W. Gilbert
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland – Maj. Gen. John W. Charlton assumed command of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command from Maj. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, outgoing commander Dec. 9 during the change of command ceremony held inside the ATEC Headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
“Ruffles and Flourishes” from the Brass Quintet from the 229th Maryland National Guard Band and the firing of rounds from the Presidential Salute Battery Old Guard set the tone of the opening of the ceremony.
After greeting the attendees in opening remarks, the 35th Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Gen. Daniel B. Allyn emphatically stressed the importance of ATEC’s mission.
“ATEC plays a fundamental role in our Army’s preparation and ultimate readiness for war,” Allyn said.
“Put simply, ATEC is critical in affirming that we’re placing the best equipment in our Soldiers’ hands so that when we are called upon, and the call will come, we can move to the sound of the guns with confidence.”
Allyn praised Karbler’s success for leading the charge of readiness during his 18 month tenure as the ATEC commander.
“He focused his efforts on managing all test and evaluation assets to verify the effectiveness of Army material for the current fight while remaining abreast of emerging technologies and test methodologies for future acquisition,” Allyn said.
Allyn stated how proud he was of Karbler’s achievements and wished him luck as he moves into his new position as the Chief of Staff of the United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Upon bidding farewell to Karbler as the outgoing commander, Allyn provided a warm welcome to Charlton who comes to ATEC from the Joint Staff in Suffolk, VA where he served as the Vice Director for Joint Force Development.
According to Allyn, Charlton is a seasoned combat leader who brings over three decades of leadership experience in critical command and staff positions throughout the Army.
“The most important reason behind John’s success is that throughout his career, he has demonstrated repeatedly an ability to focus on people while doggedly pursuing excellence,” Allyn said. “Leaders of character build trust within their units so that when the chips are down, Soldiers will continue to fight.”
Following behind Allyn, Karbler, expressed his gratitude to the ATEC team.
“In my 30 years of service, this job takes the cake being the most professionally rewarding job I have had because of what the ATEC family has taught me,” Karbler said. “Thanks to the ATEC staff for being the embodiment of one Army indivisible by expertly and effortlessly moving back and forth across the military and civilian processes.”
As the incoming commander, Charlton expressed that he was no stranger to ATEC due to his previous work with the team during previous operational exercises; namely the network integration evaluation exercises.
“Everything that a Soldier could use or will use in combat has to come through this organization to get the stamp of approval before it goes into an operational environment,” Charlton said. “I am confident that this is the reason behind the dedication of this organization.”
Charlton shared that he looks forward to the challenges ahead in working with the ATEC workforce.
“You know what impact you have across the Army,” Charlton said. “I look forward to working with you all. Army Strong. Truth in testing.”