When the sequestration happened in March, we were told we were going to have 20-plus days of furlough. That was very, very difficult. However, we started planning for 21 days of furlough and increased our social services, communicated to the community the impact. And it was dwindling down to 11 days and now to either five or six. So that's good for money, that's good for the individual and paycheck. But what it does is it challenges them, again, their value and their plans. You want to be able to forecast how you're going to spend your money, and that became very, very difficult for families. And it built stress.

The ambiguity of not knowing the impact of the sequestration continues to build stress on the workforce and the community. What we're doing is continuing to develop a robust wellness center and resiliency effort for our Fort Meade community. Not just our men and women in uniform, but also the workforce and the families. Because it impacts not just one or the other. It really does impact the entire community.

What will you remember from your time as commander of Fort Meade?

With Audrey and my kids, it's how this community comes together. How they've embraced us and their leadership on the garrison. Just how vibrant and how dynamic the community "Team Meade" is. I've worked hard to develop the Team Meade attitude, which goes well beyond the paycheck and what's in it for me. It's the attitude of we're one big region.

The change-of-command really exemplified that. We had [Rep. John] Sarbanes and [Howard County Executive] Ken Ulman there. We had [Maryland Environment Secretary Robert] Summers and [Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick] Murray. We had businessmen and women from the entire region.

If Fort Meade could be a kind of catalyst to continue to develop and grow our great region, then we're doing good stuff. That's what I'm going to miss most.

What's next for you?

I can tell you my intent is to stay in this community and work and continue to develop this great region. I think we're doing well. I think we have a long ways to go, and I want to be a part of it.

Do you have a job lined up?

I can tell you to stand by. An announcement should be very soon.

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown