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New unit commanders at MTMC receive orientation. (Water ports).

A new commander and a new unit flag will arrive the same day at MTMC's 842nd Transportation Battalion, Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Maj. Michael Cashner will assume command Aug. 17. The standard he accepts will be a new one for the unit: The flag of the 956th Transportation Co.

That unit is currently in Anchorage, Alaska, but is scheduled to transition to a detachment of the 833rd Transportation Battalion, Seattle, Wash.

Cashner, currently a student at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., is one of seven new MTMC commanders receiving orientation on their assignments.

The new commanders, along with seven other transporters, have completed a 10-day U.S. Army Logistics Management College's Logistics Pre-Command Course.

The course was taught at Fort Lee, Va., along with breakout sessions at MTMC Headquarters, Alexandria, Va.; and the Deployment Support Command and U.S. Army Transportation School, both at Fort Eustis, Va.

"I am really looking forward to the assignment," said Cashner, who coordinated MTMC movements while assigned to the U.S. European Command.

Lt. Cmdr. Doug Anderson stands out in the pre-command course--he is the only member in a U.S. Navy uniform. Anderson is in his fourth month of duty as Executive Officer of the 596th Transportation Group, Beaumont, Texas.

"It's a terrific port," said Anderson. "These people are capable of doing anything."

This is the first time Anderson has been assigned to an Army installation, but he says he is right at home.

"These people care for each other," said Anderson. "It's a lot like the Navy family."

What is his most immediate reaction to serving in an Army unit?

"I feel overwhelmed with Army acronyms," said Anderson.

As enthusiasm goes, it is hard to beat that of Col. Peter Gitto, the new Commander of the 599th Transportation Group, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.

"I am thrilled," said Gitto, currently on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pa.

"There is nothing else I would rather do in the Army."

Gitto is a MTMC veteran. He served as Chief of Operations, 598th Transportation Group, Rotterdam, Netherlands, from 1987 to 1990, and as the Commander, 832nd Transportation Battalion, then located at Balboa, Panama, from 1996-1998.

His enthusiasm is shared with Maj. Alex Monteith, Commander, 954th Transportation Co., Cape Canaveral, Fla.

"It's a fantastic job," said Monteith, who has been in command since July.

"Operating as a single port manager, you get to work with everyone concerned."

Among several attached students in the course is Lynn Aiken, a senior engineer with three decades of service at the Transportation Engineering Agency in Newport News, Va.

"The level of professionalism in this group is very high," said Aiken, who is attending the course to broaden his overview of MTMC port operations.

"It is interesting to see the interaction. All seven of the new commanders seem to know each other, or they know people in common."

Coordination at MTMC Headquarters was handled by Mike Coppedge.

"We always have a good class," said Coppedge.

"Collectively, I think this group is as good as we've had."

Other new commanders and their future assignments include: Lt. Col. Sharon Baker, 838th Transportation Battalion, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Lt. Col. Ron Heiter, 597th Transportation Group, Southport, N.C.; Lt. Col. Kent Selby, 841st Transportation Battalion, Charleston, S.C.; Lt. Col. Jerry Thomas, 831st Transportation Battalion, Bahrain, Southwest Asia; and Lt. Col. Mark Westbrook, 839th Transportation Battalion, Livorno, Italy.
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Title Annotation:Military Transportation Management Command; Maj. Michael Cashner
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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