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Col. Terry V. Williams, left, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, is among several military and public officials to flip the switch on the $20 million generator plant during a ceremony held here, Friday.

Photo by Pamela Jackson

Base commanding officer reflects on tour

24 May 2012 | Pamela Jackson

The commanding officer assumed command in the blazing summer heat and surrounded by gnats June 29, 2009. He arrived with a big, friendly smile that warmed the hearts of many people he came in contact with on a daily basis and will depart for a new assignment at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, will relinquish command during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Schmid Field, Friday.

On most days, he is hardly one to be seen having a bad day and leaves behind a legacy of caring, exceptional leadership, kindness, warmth, concern for others and love for God and base family behind.

“There are a lot of good things that happened during my three years here,” said Williams. “We support a one of a kind tenant command and other tenant organizations and it is important for us to keep that in mind. What we do as an installation is to provide the support they need to accomplish their missions.”

Williams said the base provides water, power, transportation and facilities for all tenant commands and other organizations to be able to do their jobs.

“If we do not provide them with the infrastructure they need to operate, the Marine down range at the tip of the sphere would not be getting their equipment,” he explained. “It’s rewarding knowing the mission is getting accomplished and we have a hand in that through our support.”

Williams said working with the Marines, sailors and civilian-Marines has been outstanding and he will never forget the people here who do such a great job.

Some of the most notable accomplishments under his leadership have been the award-winning landfill gas-to-energy project, the first ever in the Department of the Navy; transition to electric vehicles and working with other organizations such as Albany State University to conduct applied research projects here.

“In addition to becoming the greenest installation in the Marine Corps, some of my primary goals were to make sure we were truly focused on our tenant commands and other organizations because as a service provider, it is important to understand we are here to provide the best support we possibly can,” said Williams. “Another goal was to make sure we recognized those who were doing a great job by implementing employee recognition day where we publically recognize the great work the employees do here.

“Lastly, I thought it was important to ensure we were a learning organization where I allowed the divisions and organizations the ability to get the job done with as little hands-on as possible,” he said. “I believe you must give people the freedom to do their jobs, make decisions and learn from their mistakes, if any. I chose to back away and let people be leaders and they have done some great things on their own. In the areas we could, we overachieved and have exceeded those expectations.”

Williams noted the one thing he wanted to accomplish before leaving was for the command to achieve Voluntary Protection Program status.

“We have reduced injuries to employees by 50 percent and the subsequent down time as a result since we started,” he said. “I could not have asked for better support, but it would have been nice to close that one out before the next commander came in. When you look at how far we have come and what we accomplished, I cannot say it was a disappointment.”

Williams has been in the Marine Corps for 26 years and said Albany is one of the best communities he and his family have lived in.

“The folks out in town are a great group of leaders who have embraced not only my family, but the base and I will miss them,” he said. “We have made a lot of friends here and you cannot beat the hospitality.”

Those who work most closely with Williams echo the same sentiments regarding his leadership style and personal character traits.

Kent Morrison, executive director, MCLB Albany, first met and served with Williams from 1994-1996 at 8th Engineer Support Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“It has been a pleasure and honor to work with him,” he said. “He gives his leaders his guidance and then gives them his trust and support to do their job. He is an outstanding leader who respects the opinions of others and sincerely cares for everyone. He truly believes in work-life balance, which has been so important during these days of hiring freezes and personnel shortages.”

Williams said the future of the base is bright because of the personnel, tenant commands and other tenant organizations here.

“Some of our sections are down to 50 percent and still producing great support and products during these challenging times,” he said. “My motto has always been mission first, people always. This is where my Christian values come in. We are charged to take care of folks, to be servants and die to self. That is so important in any organization because our most valuable resource is the people. Everything we do depends on how well our people do, how efficient and proficient they are and how well they like their job. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Sgt. Maj. Conrad E. Potts, sergeant major, MCLB Albany, has worked with Williams as his senior enlisted advisor for the past eight months.

“From day one he told me to do what I have to do and that I have the experience and leadership to do what is expected of me as a sergeant major,” Potts said. “He has given me the total trust and confidence to do what I need to do when I need to do it. He has been a phenomenal leader who promotes team work and esprit de corps throughout the entire base organization. He is extremely passionate about what he does and has earned great respect among the Marines, civilians and retirees.

“I will miss his laugh first and foremost, but also his wisdom and thoughtful insight on such a wide array of topics,” he said. “My favorite quote from him that I always got a kick out of was ‘alrighty then; what else?.’ So to that I say, ‘nothing else sir, thank you.’ You have been a superb commander. God bless, fair winds and following seas my friend!”

Williams’ next assignment is working for the deputy commandant of Installations and Logistics Division at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany