Col. Tom Rickard assumed command of Fort George G Meade from Col. Brian Foley in a ceremony in early August. Rickard is the 85th Fort Meade commander in the installation’s 100-year history.
Rickard comes to Fort Meade after returning from his second deployment to Afghanistan, where he served the Resolute Support Mission as the director of Information Operations, from July 2015 until June 2016. Rickard’s previous assignments include a deployment to Iraq and a stint as chief of plans for United States Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla. He has also served as deputy commander to the commanding general, Joint Readiness Training Center, in Fort Polk, La.; and commanded the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), from March 2009 until January 2012.
An infantry officer, Rickard’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist’s Badge, Air Assault Badge, Defense Superior Service Medal and three Bronze Star medals. Rickard holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech; a master’s of science and administration in Human Resources from Central Michigan University; and a master’s of science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from National Defense University.
Rickard spoke of why he looked forward to the challenge of leading the Fort Meade garrison.
“We are blessed at Fort Meade with superb leaders and community partners from the great state of Maryland and the National Capitol Region,” Rickard said. “The quiet professionals of Team Meade support a powerful projection platform at the confluence of information, intelligence and cyber activity. During the past year in Afghanistan, I saw, first-hand, the power that Fort Meade brings to the battlefield. Amazing capabilities that affect the enemy’s will to fight.”
Foley’s next duty station is the Pentagon, where he will serve as the chief of the Strategic Initiatives Group for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Army Installation Management.
Speaking about Foley’s time at the installation, Davis Tindoll, Jr., Atlantic Region director, Installation Management Command, said Foley has accomplished much in the three years since he took command.
“Foley has postured the garrison for continued success, setting a path of [Fort Meade] becoming an efficient, responsive and flexible organization, capable of accomplishing the mission now and into the future,” said Tindoll. “Brian has made these complex challenges appear routine. Leadership like that deserves a round of applause.”
Foley spoke about his three-year term leading the Army post, which is the largest employer in the state of Maryland, with nostalgia and regret. “Today, I look back on what has been, by far, the best job I’ve had in 26 years,” Foley said. “It has been that way because I’ve never worked with people who have cared as much as the men and women of Fort Meade and members of the Team Meade community.”
About his replacement, Foley joked, “An infantry officer leading Fort Meade? What is up with that?” He went on to say, “The Army always seems to select the right guy for the right job at the right time, to move an organization forward. They got it right again this time.”