A new era began at Aberdeen Proving Ground Tuesday morning, when Col. Orlando W. Ortiz transferred command of APG Garrison to Col. Gregory R. McClinton during a change of command ceremony at the post theater.
McClinton comes to APG from Norfolk, Va., where he served as the chief of staff for the Joint Staff Deputy Directorate for Joint Force Coordination.
Davis D. Tindoll Jr., director, Atlantic Region, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, presided over the ceremony, passing the garrison colors from Ortiz to McClinton, symbolizing the transition of responsibility.
The ceremony was dedicated to the more than 1,200 soldiers, civilians and contractors of the APG U.S. Army Garrison. Garrison employees work together to support the 90 garrison-supported organization missions which include extensive research, development and engineering, communications, chemical and biological defense, public health and vehicle and weapons testing.
The garrison also works closely with local government agencies, community groups, emergency services agencies and school systems in support of the community. The commander is sometimes referred to by Harford County government leaders as the "mayor" of APG.
Tindoll called Ortiz an outstanding leader who ensured APG made tremendous contributions to Army readiness.
Listing Ortiz's accomplishments, Tindoll credited Ortiz with overseeing BRAC, which included more than $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades, construction of 18 new buildings on the installation, coordination of housing and transportation for incoming personnel, work with the state to improve roads and the move of thousands of soldiers and civilians to and from APG.
Tindoll called Ortiz's execution of the Enhanced Use Lease, which allows businesses to lease installation property and provide upgrades to the installation at no cost to the government, one of Ortiz's greatest achievements. One of Ortiz's most visible EUL deals is The GATE, an secure office complex and planned commercial area near APG's main gate.
"With his leadership, APG's Enhanced Use Lease is one of the largest and most successful of its kind," Tindoll said. "Orlando, you have done well and I'm very proud of your success."
Ortiz said his accomplishments were more a testament to the garrison workforce than to himself. He expressed pride in the organizations headquartered on the installation and said he is grateful and proud to have led the garrison staff through BRAC and the loss and gain of so many military organizations.
He thanked his wife, family members and friends for their support, lastly asking the garrison staff to support and embrace McClinton.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you have done," he said. "Support this gentleman, support his gamily, God bless you all."
Ortiz is being deployed to Afghanistan.
Tindoll welcomed McClinton, noting that he has impressive credentials for garrison command. "He will bring new energy and excellence to APG," Tindoll said.
Guests included Maryland State Sen. Nancy Jacobs; representatives of Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin and Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger; Harford County Executive David Craig; Aberdeen Mayor Michael Bennett; and members of the Harford County Council, as well as Gold Star Mothers.
APG senior leaders in attendance included Brig. Gen. Leslie Smith, commander, 20th Support Command; Brig. Gen. John Regan, deputy commander, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and director of the Army Evaluation Center; Dale Ormond, director, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command; Brig. Gen. Peter Hinz, assistant adjutant general, Maryland National Guard; Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Kennis Dent, CECOM; and several other command sergeants major and senior executive service civilians.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., McClinton was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Quartermaster Corps in 1987. His past assignments include 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; U.S. Military Training Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; U.S. Army Cadet Command, Savannah, Ga.; Quartermaster Center and School, Fort Lee, Va.; 3rd U.S. Army, Camp Doha, Kuwait; Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, La.; Fort Greely, Alaska; and IMCOM, Alexandria, Va.
His military education includes quartermaster officer basic and advanced courses and the Army Command and General Staff College.
McClinton holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Towson State University; a master's in computer resources and information management from Webster University; and a master's in national research strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.
McClinton is married to the former Vicky Arnette Saylor. They have two children, Chelsea, a recent graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Gregory Jr., a recent high school graduate.