RADFORD - A new era began Friday for the second largest employer in Montgomery County, an operation that is key to the nation’s defense.
Lieutenant colonel Alicia Masson, the first female commander of the Radford Army Ammunition plant completed her two year assignment Friday. In a change of command ceremony, the new commander officially assumed the position.
Lt. Colonel James Scott is officially the new commander at RAAP.
As the colors are presented, it's an emotional time and one of the proudest moments in a Commanders career as they assume their new position.
"Nerves are turning, but we made it through,” Scott said.
But this isn't the first time the new commanders have met, they actually began their military career together 18 years ago.
"We commissioned the army together, went to school together for the first time and we sat next to here for 26 weeks...to have the opportunity to watch her grow and challenge her...and her respond with the opportunities she's accomplished,” Scott said.
"I knew that I would be welcoming an awesome teammate in the new commander, I knew that I would be welcoming an expert that would do a great job,” Masson said.
WSLS 10 spoke to the new commander about his vision for the future of RAAP.
He says continuing transparency with the public, and sustaining environmentally friendly practices are a priority.
"The environmental, the security and the workforce safety is the priority for me right now,” Scott said.
Along with him he brings a wife, two children and a decoration of college degrees, military accomplishments, and three deployments including two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. But now he says he's excited to begin the assignment he's wanted most.
"I think just the strategic nature and again it goes back to the workforce in this community and what they do for the American warfighter and how vital and important this is for the nation, so this was my No. 1 choice and I so thrilled to be here with the team today,” Scott said.
LTC. Scott’s awards include the Bronze Star, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, six awards of the Army Commendation Medal, tow awards of the Join Service Acheivment Medal, three awards of the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 3 bronze stars, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terroism Medal, the Korean Ribbon, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 3, the non-article 5 NATO medal, and the Parachutist Badge. He has also been awarded the U.S. Army Chemical Corps Honorary Order of the Dragon Awards.
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