Fort Belvoir welcomes new garrison commander


Maj. Gen. Allan Pepin (r.), commanding general of the U.S. Army MDW, passes the colors to incoming Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander Col. Joseph Messina (l.) at a change of command ceremony on Aug. 9, 2022 (Credit: Paul Lara, Fort Belvoir PAO).

A change in command ceremony took place at Fort Belvoir’s Thurman Auditorium Aug. 9, with the ceremonial passing of garrison colors and command authority from outgoing Commander Col. Joshua SeGraves to incoming Commander Col. Joseph Messina.

SeGraves began his two-year tenure at Fort Belvoir in August 2020 — five months after the first case of COVID-19 in Virginia was confirmed in a U.S. Marine at the garrison. SeGraves personally directed the installation’s pandemic response, said Maj. Gen. Allan Pepin, commanding general of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Pepin credited SeGraves with leading the command in COVID-19 risk mitigation, adapting garrison operations and engaging the broader community via virtual town hall meetings and broadcasts.

SeGraves’ other successes at the garrison included improving privatized housing, renovating six barracks, completing the replacement of the Dogue Creek Bridge, opening the Army’s first Armed Forces Wellness Center and launching a garrison podcast, said Pepin.

During his parting remarks, SeGraves thanked members of the Fort Belvoir and surrounding community for his “incredible assignment” there and marveled that the change of command ceremony was only the second largest gathering they’d held in two years.

“The comparisons between August of 2020 and today couldn’t be more different and will quite honestly always be remembered,” he said.

Messina, who made brief remarks as the new garrison commander, showed appreciation for the garrison headquarters staff and said he looked forward to working with a couple of local dignitaries in attendance, State Senator Scott Surovell and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck.

“We must take care of the people who enable this community in our Army,” said Messina. “As Fort Belvoir garrison professionals, and in line with the Installation Management Command’s Service Culture Campaign, we will put people first, which will inform and influence every interaction.”

A recording of the Fort Belvoir Change in Command Ceremony can be viewed on Fort Belvoir’s Facebook page.

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