FORT HUACHUCA — When Col. Jarrod Moreland takes the reins as the new garrison commander at Fort Huachuca on Wednesday in a private ceremony, it will be like coming home again for the military intelligence officer and his family.
And while Moreland becomes re-acquainted with the installation where he spent a large portion of his military career, outgoing Garrison Commander Col. Chad Rambo will retire and begin the search for a new home with his family.
The Herald/Review sent both soldiers questions about the next chapter in their lives and here’s what they said:
Herald/Review: Why did you join the Army?
Col. Jarrod Moreland: I joined the Army to become an officer and leader. In high school, I was unsure what I wanted to do in the future, but I always knew I wanted to serve others and give back to this great nation of ours. While in high school, I was recruited to play soccer at West Point, and it did not take long for West Point to become my number one choice for college. I was amazed by the professionalism and patriotism, along with the sense of pride I felt knowing I would be able to serve my nation and become a member of the Long Gray Line. I graduated West Point in 1997, and have loved serving as a Soldier in our Army ever since.
HR: How long have you been in the Army?
JM: A little over 23 years ago, I graduated West Point and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army.
HR: Will the garrison be run differently in light of what the world has been going through under COVID-19?
JM: COVID-19 has impacted the entire world, and Fort Huachuca is no different. We have had to make several adjustments on the installation to keep in line with federal and state requirements, and we will continue to do so as we move forward. I am extremely thankful for the leadership of MG Potter and COL Rambo through this crisis, and it has been incredible to watch the partnership with the leadership of Sierra Vista tackle this challenge as one team, working together to achieve a common goal.
HR: Are you married, have children?
JM: I have been happily married to my wife, Melissa, for over 20 years, and we have two daughters, Allie and Kate. We all love living here in Arizona, and are blessed to get this opportunity once again to serve at Fort Huachuca in this capacity.
HR: Have you ever been to this area and what do you think of it so far?
JM: I have spent more time here at Fort Huachuca than any other military base during my 23-year career, so it is a homecoming of sorts for us. I first spent time here at Fort Huachuca in 1997 as a Second Lieutenant, and returned in 2001 as a Captain. We lived here from 2001-2005, and loved every minute of it. This installation and local area has so much history, and there are so many fun and exciting things to do throughout Cochise County and southern Arizona. Fort Huachuca was my #1 choice for all U.S. Army Garrisons across the Army, and we could not be happier to be back here in southeast Arizona.
HR: Where are you from?
JM: I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, in between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I still consider Maryland home, and though I no longer have any family in Maryland, I look forward to each and every visit back there when we get the opportunity. Since joining the Army, we have lived all over the country at different military bases, but have been predominantly stationed at bases along the eastern seaboard, from Florida north to Rhode Island.
HR: Can you talk about some of the missions/service you’ve completed in the military thus far?
JM: I am a career Military Intelligence officer, which helps explain why I have spent so much of my career here at Fort Huachuca (6+ years and counting). I commanded a company here at Fort Huachuca as a Captain, and commanded the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia as a Lieutenant Colonel. I spent a year in Iraq helping train Iraqi Border Guards to better protect their borders from the flow of lethal weapons and foreign fighters, and spent a year in Afghanistan as the Aide de Camp to the Commanding General (General John Allen and later General Joseph Dunford) of all US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
I also spent 6 months in Haiti supporting us government humanitarian efforts, and have spent time in just about every country in the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). Military Intelligence was my first choice for branch of service within the Army, and I am so very thankful for the opportunities and experiences the Army and Military Intelligence leaders have provided me over my career.
HR: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
JM: I am an avid golfer, and I really enjoy traveling with my family all over this great nation of ours. Locally, there is so much to do and see, and Cochise County has such a wide variety of things to do, from hiking in the Huachuca mountains or Chiricahua National Monument to walking the streets of Tombstone or Bisbee, that anyone can find plenty of fun, unique and interesting things to do.
HR: What is your advice to a young soldier who may be undecided about making the Army his or her lifelong career?
JM: My advice to any young Soldier or person contemplating becoming a Soldier is simple — give it a chance, keep an open mind, and be open to new adventures. Each assignment in the Army is unique, and each Soldier will have different experiences, even within the same unit. From 2005-2008, I worked at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in their Army ROTC department. I was responsible for the recruiting, training and administration of our students, from their senior year in high school all the way through graduation from college and commissioning as an officer in the Army. Each one of those students came from different backgrounds and experiences, and each had a different reason for joining the military, but at the end of the day, they all wanted to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to be a part of a team that values diversity, respect and dignity for all, and lives the Army Values above all else.
With each of those students, we would have long discussions about their future, what their goals and aspirations were, and how to achieve those goals. Each Soldier needs to determine what makes the most sense for their Army career based upon family considerations and other potential opportunities outside the Army, but I am simply thankful that each Soldier, past and present, decided to take up the oath to serve others in our U.S. Army.
Herald/Review: Will you be moving on to a new assignment? And where will that be?, Or, If you’re retiring by any chance, will you be staying in Sierra Vista?
Col. Chad Rambo: I will be retiring.
HR: We’ve been watching the town halls each week regarding the pandemic situation. What has this been like for you?
CR: The town halls have been a great experience. I think it has been very important to use every means possible to let people know what steps we are taking to mitigate COVID-19, and also explain why we are taking those steps. The town halls were an effective venue to clarify COVID-19 related topics for people.
HR: What has your time at Fort Huachuca been like?
CR: My time here at Fort Huachuca has been extremely rewarding. Fort Huachuca and Southern Arizona is a beautiful place to live, but what really makes this place special is the community. The sense of shared community between the post and the local community is truly special.