Fort George G. Meade has a new garrison commander.
Col. Michael A. Sapp assumed command of the military installation in a ceremony Wednesday, taking over for Col. Christopher M. Nyland, who has held the job since August 2020.
Sapp most recently served as the deputy National Security Agency/Central Security Service representative to the U.S. Central Command, according to a news release. Before that, he commanded the 297th Military Intelligence Battalion (Operations) at Fort Gordon, Georgia, before attending the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Sapp is the 88th Fort Meade garrison commander.
In his speech to dignitaries gathered at the parade ground Wednesday, he thanked Nyland for a job well done.
“Your leadership was essential to the success of this installation during some of the most challenging years in the history of Fort Meade,” Sapp said of his predecessor. “I look forward to building on the work of your last two years. I am absolutely thrilled for the opportunity. "
Nyland took command six months into the pandemic as Anne Arundel County was reporting thousands of new infections per day. He helped the base navigate the public health crisis, meeting monthly with County Executive Steuart Pittman about the county’s response.
“I found Col. Nyland to have the strength of a soldier and the compassion of a mayor,” Pittman said in an interview. “I joked that he was the mayor of Fort Meade because that was what his job entailed, but he was also a commander and I’m going to miss him.”
Davis Tindoll, director of Installation Management Command Sustainment, presided over the ceremony and credited Nyland for his two years of work.
“He was able to lead and execute all facets of the installations mission sector,” Tindoll said.
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Nyland thanked those who served beside him, helping him have a successful tour, and made special mention of his wife, Col. Christy Nyland, who commands the Army Field Support Center. Nyland described his wife as his “partner and adventurer for the last 21 years.”
“Whether the seas were rough or the skies were blue, you’ve been there with a smile, an encouraging word and when necessary, some tough love,” Nyland said. “I know these last two years have been tough but I’m excited for what the future brings, and I know that everything will turn out for the best as long as we are side by side. "
Nyland will move on to serve as the executive officer to the president of the National Defense University.
Fort Meade’s commander has a tremendous responsibility in leading the installation, which is the largest employer in the state of Maryland, home to 63,000 employees and about 120 agencies, including U.S. Cyber Command, NSA, Defense Information Systems Agency and Defense Media Activity.
Sapp, a Kansas native, was commissioned in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1999. He has served at Fort Hood, Texas, West Point, New York, and in Hawaii. His deployments include tours in Macedonia, Iraq and Haiti.
Sapp holds a Bachelor of Computer Science Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Information Management from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, according to a Fort Meade news release.
In his new position, Sapp will be joined by his wife of 22 years, Heather and their three children: Samantha, Alexander and Katherine .