The Army has tapped a career intelligence officer as the next commander of Fort Meade, the Army post that in the next decade is adding thousands of jobs, many in the intelligence field, The Sun has learned.
Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, 50, will take command of the 5,400-acre installation in western Anne Arundel County at a change-of-command ceremony June 30, Fort Meade officials said yesterday.
McCreedy, who has served in Central America and Europe and as a National Security Agency fellow, has worked for the past year at the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The Gambrills resident will succeed Col. John W. Ives, who in his three years as the post commander has promoted privatizing housing and jobs while laying the groundwork for development of the 88-year-old post.
Ives, 50, is retiring from the military. He said Tuesday that he will join MZM Inc., which specializes in intelligence collection and related technologies. He said that he will leave with his wife, Diana, for central Florida in mid-July.
During a telephone interview, Ives revealed that McCreedy would be his successor.
Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens said she does not know McCreedy and is eager to meet the new commander. "I've been assured [by Ives] that there won't be a learning curve," she said. "He will be ready."
McCreedy has four graduate degrees, including a doctorate in history from the University of California, and he has taught at military and civilian colleges. He has written three books that examine post-war actions and emphasize the importance of winning the peace after winning a war.
A Fort Meade spokeswoman said McCreedy would be unavailable for comment until the formal change of command.
McCreedy has served around the world, earned numerous awards and immersed himself in education since leaving the University of California as a distinguished military graduate in 1980. He was assigned to the U.S. Southern Command in Panama as a country analyst. After stints in Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina, he was awarded a National Security Agency fellowship in 1999, a program for "high-potential, career military cryptologists," an agency spokeswoman said.
McCreedy moved to Fort Gordon in Georgia as commander of the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion, which focused on signals intelligence.
McCreedy later was a professor of military science at Old Dominion University in Virginia. He served there for less than a year, leaving in June 2003 to attend the Army War College, said retired Navy Capt. F. Richard Whalen, director of military activities at Old Dominion.
"We couldn't keep him. He was on his way up," Whalen said.
McCreedy oversaw the recruitment, teaching and training of students in the ROTC program at Old Dominion. In a short period, he helped uphold the reputation of that program as one of the nation's best, Whalen said.
"He will probably become a professor again. ... We would be welcome to have him here, as would most any university in this country," Whalen said.
McCreedy will be taking the helm of an installation that operates as a gated city, bordering the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Route 32 and Route 175. About 40,000 people work at Fort Meade, part of an overall population there of 109,000.
A Pentagon commission recommended last month moving 5,300 jobs to Fort Meade as part of a base realignment process. In the future, local and state officials say, the number of jobs in and around Fort Meade is expected to grow by tens of thousands as the post evolves from one that trained ground troops and pilots to a national center for defense and information technology, with the National Security Agency at the forefront.
Ives signed off last week on a three-decade plan for managing growth in and around the post. One of the plan's provisions emphasized the need to extend the Washington Metro's Green Line north from Greenbelt to accommodate increasing traffic.
McCreedy will oversee a private company's decade-long, $400 million redevelopment of post housing, as well as continued environmental cleanup of Fort Meade, which is on the federal Superfund list.
"He will be a real treat for everyone," Ives said of McCreedy.
Whalen said that McCreedy is well-suited to handle challenges: "He's an out-front kind of guy. ... He leads by example."