April 16, 2016 –
Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Andrew Bassford became the twentieth commander of the 95th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), headquartered at the Armed Forces Reserve Center here on Apr. 16. Bassford assumed the leadership role from Brig. Gen. Daniel Christian, who served as the 95th's commander since December 2013. Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen, Commander of the 108th Training Command (IET), presided over the change of command ceremony held at the 95th Adjutant General Battalion.
“Thank you to [Brig. Gen.] Christian for leaving me an organization that is strong, healthy and ready to go” Bassford stated as he took the stage to address his new command. “I am very grateful to be able to follow him.”
Bassford, a Salem, Virginia native, is joining the 95th following his position as the Deputy Commanding General for the 88th Regional Support Command based in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Bassford was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the active component from the Georgetown University Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Following his commission, Bassford served as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, and a Regimental Logistics Officer before transitioning to the Army Reserve.
“He is well-seasoned at the heel craft of current mission set of the 95th Division, having commanded at the battalion and brigade levels within the 108th Training Command,” said McQueen said of Bassford in his remarks at Saturday’s ceremony.
The incoming commander has held a variety of roles during his 30-year military career to include a role as a Brigade Commander of 2nd Brigade, 98th Division (IET) a unit within the 108th TC (IET) footprint. Bassford also served as the Assistant Commander for Support and the Chief of Staff for the 108th from 2011-2013.
“In both his military and civilian careers, [Brig. Gen.] Bassford is one who stands up for what’s right,” says McQueen while welcoming him into the command.
Bassford is a graduate of the Army War College, the Jumpmaster Course, the Command and General Staff College, the Inspector General’s Course and the University of Virginia, School of Law. In his civilian career the general serves as a federal prosecutor in southwestern Virginia.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 28 months,” recalls Christian during his farewell speech to the distinguished guests, family, friends and Soldiers in attendance. “These 28 months have been simply without question the best experiences I have had in my military career."
He has served in a variety of assignments since commissioning in the Engineer Corps from the Niagara University ROTC program in 1983. The incoming and outgoing commanders’ careers share some similarities. Christian’s military career also spans over 30 years. Christian’s previous assignments include positions as a battalion commander, brigade commander, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Executive officer within the 98th TD (IET).
“As I stand here today, I am reminded of my days as a second lieutenant so many years ago,” said Christian as he addressed his oldest son 1st Lt. Andrew Christian, an army reservist of the 382nd Military Police Battalion headquartered in the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Westover Airbase Air Reserve base, who sat uniformed in the audience at ceremony.
The outgoing commander also thanked his youngest son Brian and his wife Donna for their support and urged those in attendance to thank their loved ones at home as well.
“Thank you for your leadership and sacrifice to the 95th Division and the 108th Training Command, “ McQueen said as he bid Christian farewell.
Following command of the 95th, Christian, of Dothan, Alabama, will be assigned to the 412th Theater Engineer Command of Vicksburg, Mississippi as the Deputy Commanding General.
“Through it all and every step of the way his wife Donna was supporting him and encouraging him and the families of the division, and I acknowledge that it is a team effort to make this happen,” said McQueen concluding his remarks at the ceremony, “so, to Dan and Donna you’ve both done well.”