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Joint Task Force Civil Support bids farewell to Mathis and welcomes Roy

7/22/2014, 1:52 p.m.
Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Mathis recently relinquished command of Joint Task Force Civil Support to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William ...
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William F. Roy, commander, Joint Task Force Civil Support, speaks to the crowd as the new commander during JTF-CS change of command ceremony. During the ceremony, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff W. Mathis III relinquished command of JTF-CS to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William F. Roy, becoming the unit’s seventh commander. JTF-CS anticipates, plans and prepares for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense support to civil authorities response operations. (Official DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Dietrick)

-- U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff W. Mathis III relinquished command of Joint Task Force Civil Support to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William F. Roy during a change of command ceremony at Seay Plaza.

Mathis, a Texas native, assumed command in July 2012 and leaves JTF-CS after two years at the helm.

The ceremony's presiding official, U.S. Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, praised Mathis’ leadership as essential to the joint task force's ability to plan and respond rapidly during U.S. assistance to a man-made or natural disaster.

Mathis displayed his ability to command and control Department of Defense forces during the response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012 where he led from the front.

“Maj. Gen. Mathis led his team and answered the call for assistance and brought unity of effort to the multi-state regional disaster of national significance,” said Jacoby. “JTF-CS did the vital work of synchronizing all of the DOD support that came in for the relief efforts; job well done.”

As commander of JTF-CS, Mathis built the best chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear team this and any other country has ever seen, according to Jacoby.

In accordance with U.S. Army tradition and heritage, the unit colors were passed. Command Sgt. Maj. Richard H. Capps, JTF-CS senior enlisted advisor, passed the colors to Mathis to symbolize his last act of allegiance to the outgoing commander. Mathis then passed the colors to Jacoby to symbolize the unit is never without a commander. Jacoby then passed the colors to Roy, symbolizing the entrustment of command to the incoming commander.

The passing of colors concluded when Roy passed the colors back to Capps, symbolizing the organization’s colors stay with the service members of JTF-CS.

Roy, a Vermont native, becomes the seventh commander in JTF-CS history and was most recently assigned as the Deputy Commanding General for Operations of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“Maj. Gen. Roy is the right commander at the right time for JTF-CS,” said Jacoby. “He knows the civil support mission and he knows how to operate.”

Roy thanked Jacoby for the gift of the JTF-CS command and promised to stay ever vigilant and always ready.

“I will remember this day for the rest of my life,” said Roy. “Thank you for welcoming me with open arms, and I look forward to the days ahead with our very important mission.”

Upon completion of the change of command ceremony, the retirement ceremony for Mathis commenced.

Mathis, who began his career on the Ides of March in 1975 enlisting as a Special Forces communications sergeant, will officially retire after 39 years of dedicated service to his country on Oct. 31, 2014.

“It is a distinct honor and privilege to have served as the JTF-CS commander for my final tour in my 39-year career,” said Mathis. “I am confident that Maj. Gen. Roy will lead this unit to even greater success and will stand ready to meet our citizens pressing needs.”

JTF-CS is U.S. Northern Command’s standing operational joint task force headquarters comprised of more than 200 military and civilian personnel responsible for planning, anticipating and conducting immediate and decisive CBRN consequence management response operations in support of civil authorities.