The U.S. Army Engineer School welcomed Col. Mark Quander as its 98th commandant in a ceremony held Tuesday on Fort Leonard Wood’s Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza.
Quander took command from Brig. Gen. Robert Whittle Jr. who is moving on to command the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division.
Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, presided over the ceremony. She commended Whittle on the organization’s “phenomenal” accomplishments that were achieved under his leadership.
“During his time in this position, Brig. Gen. Whittle has led this regiment in significant gains in both training and modernization,” Martin said. “Engineer Soldiers and forces are prepared. They are ready to overcome any challenge and to contribute to the success of missions across the range of operations in places all around the world.”
Martin said the nation can rest assured that the Army is developing more lethal, agile engineers who are ready to fight in large-scale combat operations thanks to Whittle’s leadership.
According to Whittle, engineers not only led the way to winning the American Revolution, but also “carved out the nation, mapped it and built it.”
“The Army is the heart of America and the Engineer Regiment is the heart of the Army. We take care of each other. Engineers make each other successful,” Whittle said. “We serve others, our comrades in arms and our fellow citizens in war and in peace.”
Martin welcomed Quander, who is here for the second time in his career. His first time was while attending the Engineer Officer Advanced Course 20 years ago.
“Just as I am confident that our Engineer School has been on the right path, I am equally certain it will remain on the right path,” Martin said. “Congratulations Mark, we are elated with the Army’s choice. You are extraordinarily qualified to serve as the 98th commandant of the Engineer School.”
Quander said he looks forward to continuing the regiment’s traditions and moving forward on the path set by Whittle.
“It’s this Engineer Regiment that I’m so proud to join here today,” Quander said. “It’s about maintaining the best regiment in the world. We are going to take care of the Soldiers and make sure they are prepared for the rigors of the battlefield.”
He said he takes the responsibility seriously and understands success is due to the Soldiers and civilians in the regiment.
“With all the equipment, with all the doctrine and with all the training, it takes people and it takes leaders,” Quander said. “It’s the developing of those leaders that is important and we must remain focused on. With the right leadership and mentorship, we can grow leaders that can do anything on (the) battlefield.”
Quander most recently served as the Commander and Division Engineer of the Transatlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Winchester, Virginia.