Submitted by Thurston County
Thurston County Commissioners issued a proclamation today honoring JBLM Base Commander Col. H. Charles Hodges, Jr. and Deputy Base Commander Col. Anthony J. Davit, who will both be leaving Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August.
In today’s proclamation, commissioners expressed their gratitude to Col. Hodges and Col. Davit for their leadership both on base and in the surrounding community, and for their work to reach out to the cities and counties that neighbor the base to build and strengthen the level of cooperation and partnership between the military and the communities where many of JBLM military personnel and their families live.
“During their tenure, Col. Hodges and Col. Davit have really made the relationships between the base and the neighboring jurisdictions a top priority,” said Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe. “I would say that the level of collaboration now is at an all-time high because of their efforts, and the positive impact they’ll leave on this community is tremendous.”
Col. Hodges said, “It has been an amazing partnership with Thurston County. Three years ago, we didn’t really have a relationship, and today it is so very strong and beneficial.”
“We continue to work to keep the relationship strong,” said Col. Davit. “The benefits gained by all parties allow everyone to understand each other’s perspectives. Being able to give back in this way makes a difference in the larger community.”
“We have a great relationship with JBLM that is just incredible, and I think a big ‘thank you’ goes to Col. Hodges and Col. Davit for that,” said Commissioner Sandra Romero, who serves on the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership. “The relationship we’ve built has helped the base, and I know it’s helped the county and other jurisdictions, but I think the real winners are the people who live in our communities—the troops, their families, the civilian workers, and even those who are not directly tied to base. We all benefit from a strong base-community relationship.”
“Col. Hodges and Col. Davit have laid a foundation for continued success in many areas. Their work has strengthened JBLM’s relationship with surrounding communities, such as recently fighting to keep troop reduction to 1,250 personnel. They also commanded garrison functions, formulating policy and plans for soldier readiness for deployments and redeployments and logistic services to thousands of families who work and reside at JBLM. Thurston County values their leadership, and I thank them for their dedication and professional service.” said Commissioner Bud Blake.
Col. H. Charles Hodges, Jr. took command of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August 2012 and will be retiring from military in August after serving for 30 years in the U.S. Army. As JBLM Base Commander, Col. Hodges is responsible for the general management of the systems and infrastructure that make up the “city” of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, such as facility maintenance and construction, environmental protection, housing, emergency management, police and fire services, and roads and transportation, among others. Col. Hodges manages and oversees an annual operating budget of $438 million for JBLM.
Col. Anthony J. Davit was named Deputy Base Commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August 2013, and also serves as Commander of the 627th Air Base Group. Along with his duties as the Deputy Base Commander, Col. Davit is responsible for organizing, training and equipping more than 800 Airmen in five squadrons, as well as managing the chaplain and equal opportunity offices. Col. Davit has served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, and will be leaving JBLM for his new post as Director of Readiness for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the Defense Department’s premiere military installation on the West Coast. JBLM is home to more than 41,000 active, Guard and Reserve Service members and about 15,000 civilian workers. The base supports nearly 55,000 family members who live on and outside the base, and nearly 30,000 military retirees living within 50 miles. That makes JBLM the fourth largest military base in the United States by population, and the seventh largest “city” in Washington state.