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Commentary: Saying Farewell as APG, the Army, and America Hold Strong

Commentary: Saying Farewell as APG, the Army, and America Hold Strong
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor and husband Lucas (seated) get a vintage Jeep ride during the 2018 Havre de Grace Fourth of July Parade. (Courtesy APG/CECOM Public Affairs)

A little more than two years ago, my husband Lucas and I arrived at Aberdeen Proving Ground with excitement. As Chesapeake Bay enthusiasts, we could not have been happier to relocate to beautiful northeast Maryland — and to move out of a very small apartment in Washington, D.C.

My tenure as APG senior commander will soon come to a close. Leaving will be bittersweet, as this has been the best assignment we have shared in more than 22 years together. However, we feel called to go where the Army needs us. In our next assignment, I will serve as Chief of Staff at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.

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During our time at APG, Lucas and I have enjoyed building real friendships with the leaders and community members outside the gates. We have also enjoyed helping the community learn about everything APG does to support the Army and safeguard our freedom.

Today, that mission is more important than ever. Our international security situation is shifting daily, and emerging competitors are beginning to threaten our nation in new ways. To address that reality, the Army is modernizing faster than ever before, with much of that effort taking place at APG.

The good news is that even with instability abroad, our Army is stronger and more ready than it has been in years. And even with the volatility of national and international affairs, our domestic institutions are holding strong. As our most trusted nationwide institution, the military will continue to be a stabilizing force anywhere in the world we are called on to defend America’s interests.

But the Army does not exist in a vacuum. It is made up of our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. Our nation will look to these individuals, and across their entire generations, to overcome the challenges we will inevitably face together in the 21st century.

Crises reveal the character and resilience of every generation, much like the Greatest Generation overcame the forces of tyranny and oppression during World War II. I am confident millennials, Generation Z, and all Americans who follow will carry forward that proud legacy and ensure our government of, by, and for the people does not perish from this earth.

On Thursday, June 20, I invite you to join us for a Change of Command Ceremony, as I relinquish the responsibilities of APG senior commander and commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command to Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. and is open to the public; just show a government-issued ID to come on post and follow the event signs.

I also invite you to join us at the Water’s Edge Events Center on Wednesday, June 19, at 4 p.m. for a celebration of the community’s continued partnership with APG. This informal event will feature food from around the Chesapeake Bay and will be a chance to say farewell (but not goodbye!). To attend, please register by no later than June 13 at the following link: June-19.eventbrite.com

I know the residents of Harford County will continue to be outstanding advocates for APG and our service members, civilians, contractors, military family members, retirees, and veterans. Thank you for your support, friendship, and memories made over two wonderful years, and always remember APG and the Army belong to you.

America’s Army, Your Army!

MAJ. GEN. RANDY TAYLOR

The author is the senior commander of Aberdeen Proving Ground.

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