DoMaD welcomes new director
DoMaD Public Affairs:
The Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment bid farewell to Col. Eric T. Judkins and welcomed Col. John F. Dorney in a ceremony held in the Adobe Room of the Family Resilience Center at West Fort Bliss Oct. 16.
The ceremonies began with the arrival of the official party, which consisted of Judkins, Dorney, DoMaD’s non-commissioned officer in charge Sgt. Maj. Gabriel R. Jimenez, and the event’s host, Garrison Commander Col. Brant V. Dayley. Brianna Meadows and Iris Jane Lubas from DoMaD’s S-3, and Lt. Col. Eileen Hardy from the S-1 section, sang the National Anthem, giving honor to the colors.
After the benediction, given by Chaplain (Maj.) Brian Van Dyke, Dayley took the podium. Dayley spoke of the unique and important mission of DoMaD and the level of difficulty in successfully completing a dynamic mission that changes constantly. He praised Judkins and thanked him for enabling him to focus on all other aspects of being a garrison commander, and not having to worry too much about the mobilization and demobilization process.
“[Judkins] committed his heart and soul into our ever increasing mobilization and demobilization mission in the face of great adversity,” said Dayley … “He’s proven to be a capable and seasoned leader. He’s left a legacy that will be very hard to beat.”
Dayley then turned his attention to Dorney. He teased that Dorney left his previous branch of air defense artillery for field artillery, but said he had “absolute confidence that he will continue the steady stream of successes that Team Bliss enjoys.”
Following Dayley was Judkins, who spoke about the ever-changing DoMaD mission. He mentioned the Army Reserve changing from a strategic force to an operation force and the affect that will have on the organizations processes. Judkins reinforced the idea that DoMaD is “where the rubber meets the road,” saying the new policies and procedures that will be put into place will be the responsibility of the staff.
“Everyone in this room is responsible for figuring out what right looks like with the Reserve component,” said Judkins. “Without that commitment to taking care of Soldiers and providing quality resources, there will be significant challenges.”
The departing colonel then showed his gratitude for the support he has received while in command, mentioning all areas of Fort Bliss from garrison down to each DoMaD shop. He began and finished his speech with the same statement.
“It has been an honor serving with you in preparing those who are preparing to go in harm’s way and facilitating those after deployment back home,” said Judkins.
Dorney spoke after Judkins and thanked God and then Dayley for giving him this opportunity. He admitted a little bit of apprehension of taking over after Judkins, who he has worked for before. Dorney served on the DoMaD command staff when it was still the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade in 2008.
“It is going to be hard to follow Colonel Judkins … as I’ve known and respected him well over a decade,” said Dorney.
The joke of the night was about Judkins missing the 24-hour operations and working nights, weekends and holidays, which Judkins has emphatically denied.
“He thinks he is moving onto bigger and better things … but I know he is going to miss this,” said Dorney.
The incoming DoMaD commander then made the affirmation that he intends to keep Fort Bliss and the DoMaD the best mobilization station in the country.
The formal ceremony ended and during the reception period, after the cake was cut and served, Judkins was honored again.
“On behalf of DoMaD’s Soldiers, civilians, contractors and everyone connected with us, thank you,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez gave Judkins a plaque with the DoMaD motto printed on it. Judkins read the beginning of the motto “If not us,” and the crowd answered, “then who?”
Lt. Col. Charles Norris, deputy commanding officer, complimented the outgoing commander.
“You want your boss to have a good moral compass and Colonel Judkins epitomizes that,” said Norris.
After the speeches were given and the cake was eaten, Judkins said one last remark of gratitude.
“On behalf of tens of thousands of Soldiers, keep up the good work.”
Judkins will remain on Fort Bliss and has accepted a position at the Joint Task Force North.
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