The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last week honored two U.S. Army Colonels who are leaving Fort Belvoir this month.
Col. Mark Moffatt, deputy garrison commander for transformation and BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure), retired on June 1 after 28 years of service. Col. John Strycula will leave his post as garrison commander at Belvoir on June 25 for an assignment in Afghanistan.
Both Moffatt and Strycula worked closely in partnership with the county to oversee the costly and well-documented BRAC process, which brought thousands of federal employees to the base.
Moffatt arrived at Belvoir in 2007 and during his five years at the base, he helped oversee the construction of three multi-billion dollar facilities, including the post’s new state-of-the-art hospital.
Strycula came to the base in 2010 and during his time as garrison commander, Belvoir’s population grew from 30,000 to more than 48,000.
Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay wished Strycula the best.
“You’ve been a real leader at Fort Belvoir,” McKay said. “Know that as you go off into your next mission – a dangerous one – that we’ll be praying for you and your family and your safe return.”
Moffatt and Strycula worked with the county to mitigate increases in traffic that came as a result of the new installations and employees.
Springfied District Supervisor Pat Herrity said that Moffatt had been invaluable during the BRAC process.
“You have become the face of BRAC and the face of Fort Belvoir to our community,” he said. “A lot of people look at BRAC as a bad thing – I look at it as an opportunity, and that’s what it is for Fairfax County.”
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hylan thanked Srycula for his service.
“It’s been wonderful having you command the post during probably the most challenging time of any commander that I’ve seen take that post,” he said. “You were an absolutely awesome team and the mission was accomplished.”
Strycula said he was honored to accept the recognition on behalf of the thousands of soldiers at Belvoir, and that his garrison’s top-notch staff and inhabitants had made his job easier.
He also spoke to Belvoir’s partnership with Fairfax County. “We share a common goal,” said, adding that he believed they would continue to thrive together in the future.
The board also proclaimed the week of June 10 Army Strong week, and urged the residents of Fairfax County to keep in mind the men and women to fight to protect them.
“A lot of times we get caught up in discussions of road projects and buildings and other things that we need not forget the people who put on a uniform every day,” McKay said.