US Army Garrison Japan welcomes first female commander
CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Col. Joy L. Curriera became the first female commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan following an assumption-of-command ceremony held Nov. 26 at Yano Field here.
Military, civilian and government officials from both the U.S. and Japan were in attendance at the ceremony.
During the ceremony, the traditional passing of the guidon was conducted by Debra D. Zedalis, regional director of the Installation Management Command Pacific, and Curriera. The U.S. Army Garrison Japan flag was passed from Zedalis to Curriera, signifying her assumption of command.
Curriera has been in the position of acting garrison commander since her arrival June 7 after completing a year at the National War College, Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
Zedalis remarked on a comment she previously made to Curriera during a recent visit to Camp Zama to present the Army Communities of Excellence silver award.
"Joy, I told you that being a garrison commander would be the most challenging leadership position that you would have as an Army officer," said Zedalis.
Zedalis said Curriera has had the time to experience the many challenges and benefits of the garrison commander's position.
USAG-J previously won the bronze and silver awards in the ACOE competition in two years, respectively, for its community services and facilities in quality environment.
Zedalis said Curriera left a military-oriented command to lead a civilian-oriented one whose primary mission is to provide quality services and programs to Soldiers, civilians and their families.
"The Army could not have chosen a better garrison commander to provide the leadership and motivation to help take this garrison team to the next level of the Army Community of Excellence Program."
During her welcome comments, Curriera said she had a unique advantage to remark on the greater perspective she now has for the garrison team.
"I am absolutely honored to be a member of this top-notch Garrison Japan team," said Curriera.
"Amazed" at how much USAG-J makes happen every day across its 16 installations, Curriera said her role as garrison commander is to enable and empower her team members to accomplish the best in all they do within their respective functions.
"I am humble to have the opportunity to be a part of it," said Curriera.