HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Col. William Marks, current garrison commander of Redstone Arsenal, will retire this week after 27 years of military service.
He tells WHNT News 19 he entered into the Army through the ROTC program at the University of South Alabama. To know Redstone Arsenal will be his last stop seems bittersweet right now.
"Selfishly, I love this job. I've often said I have the best job on the best installation on the planet," he explained.
Still, Col. Marks says it's time to move on, in order to be with his family. He says his two sons made it clear they wanted to stay in North Alabama after learning he would likely be moved by the end of the summer.
"They have done four separate periods of time a year where I was somewhere else, and they were left behind," said Col. Marks. "I think they've sacrificed as much as they need to, and we'll just move on as a family from here."
His future plans are a little murky right now. "I have not, which is unusual for me, given much thought to what I'm going to do," he explained.
But Redstone's future will move forward in the hands of Col. Tom Holliday, the incoming garrison commander. Col. Marks said some challenges are dealing with diminishing resources that can be limiting to staffing levels, and striking a balance between security and access as Redstone Arsenal's workforce grows. He said there are also some projects in the works, including a solar project, Redstone Gateway, and the possible Exploration Park, that can shape Redstone Arsenal.
"I will tell Col. Holliday that he can do as I did. You can trust first, and this team [at Redstone] will not let you down," said Col. Marks.
Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche, senior commander, and Davis Tindall, Jr., Director, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Atlantic Region, will host a Change of Command Ceremony and Retirement Ceremony to honor outgoing Col. Marks on Wednesday, June 8. It will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Bob Jones Auditorium on Redstone Arsenal.
Col. Tom Holliday will also be welcomed as incoming garrison commander. He previously served as the deputy G-3 (Operations) at U.S. Army Cyber Command in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Col. Marks has served as Redstone's garrison commander since 2013.