On June 17, 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG) welcomed a new Commander. 4th Canadian Division (4 Cdn Div) and Joint Task Force Central Commander Brigadier General (BGen) Lowell Thomas (centre seated) presided over the signing of the official Change of Command scrolls to mark the handover from outgoing 4 CDSG Commander BGen Marc Gagne (right) and incoming Commander Colonel Mark Misener (left). In back are 4 Cdn Div Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Stuart Hartnell (left) and 4 CDSG Formation Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Bill Richards (right). (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
For her years of support to her husband, Marlene Cayer receives flowers from the 4 CDSG Formation Sergeant Major's wife Veletia Richards.(Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Corporal Matt Walsh presents his former commander Brigadier General Marc Gagne with a gift. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
On behalf of the defence team, 4 CDSG Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Scott Campbell presented Brigadier General Marc Gagne with a token of appreciation. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Incoming 4 CDSG Commander Colonel Mark Misener inspects the troops. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
(Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
The 2 CMBG Pipes and Drums added a musical element to the parade. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Colonel Mark Misener salutes his troops after being appointed the Commander of 4 CDSG. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Brigadier General Marc Gagne speaks to the members of 4 CDSG for the last time on June 17. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
4 CDSG welcomes new commander Colonel Mark Misener
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Personnel of 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG) welcomed a new commander Friday, and bid farewell to Brigadier General Marc Gagne.
After a two year tenure, BGen Gagne handed over command to Colonel Mark Misener at a Change of Command parade on June 17. He was also promoted to his current rank during the ceremony, and will assume the role of Deputy Commander of 18 Corps Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Col Misener now holds the responsibilities of overseeing members of 4 CDSG as they provide institutional support to all Army Formations within Ontario, whether deployed in Canada or abroad. 4 CDSG is also in charge of all lodgers units at Garrison Petawawa and Garrison Toronto.
Due to its various tasks and roles, span of control, mandate and uniqueness, 4 CDSG is one of the most complicated units to lead, said 4th Canadian Division (4 Cdn Div) and Joint Task Force Central Commander Brigadier-General Lowell Thomas.
Being in charge of it all wasn’t an easy task for BGen Gagne, but he did it well, shaping the division into the well-oiled machine it is today. “It speaks to knowing your constraints, but more importantly, knowing your people because command is all about people,” said BGen Thomas. “... He quickly gathered his sources and leveraged his people to deliver, and this division is that much better thanks to efforts of the entire formation of 4 CDSG.
“Fortunately for all of us, Colonel Marc has displayed the knowledge, the understanding and the diplomacy to function in this most unique environment,” he added. BGen Gagne admitted he didn’t quite fully appreciate how quickly his term would come to an end. He credited his team’s hard work and support for all that was accomplished in delivering their mission. It was an honour and a privilege to lead this division, he added. “To the civilian and military members of 4 CDSG, thank you for your constant support and for taking care of each other, so that every one in the formation can have a great place to work,” said BGen Gagne. “And also promoting a sense of pride and engagement.”
As he spoke to his soldiers for the last time, he took time to thank all those who supported him along the way, including his family, his reviewing officer, his soldiers and command team, his civilian employees, the local community and municipal leaders as well as the federal and provincial elected Members of Parliament.
In particular, he gave his Formation Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Bill Richards his most sincere gratitude for providing him with constant aid, loyalty, deep knowledge and wisdom, and most importantly friendship.
BGen Thomas was impressed by how well the division had been run. Just by looking at the precision of the soldiers on parade, he could see how their attention for detail was reflected in all aspects of their work. “We observed a highly professional, dedicated and proud organization with outstanding leadership,” said BGen Thomas. “Colonel Marc, they reflect all the qualities and competencies that you espouse and they do you proud.”
To Col Misener, BGen Gagne had only positive encouragement. “You are ready to assume the command today of 4 CDSG,” said the outgoing commander. “You will be very busy with a diverse formation, but you will find it very rewarding to lead this team of creative, capable and dedicated workforce.”
Col Misener received his military commission in 1987 and graduated from the Royal Military College in 1991, where he received a mechanical engineering degree. Over the years, he has been deployed on several operational tours in Somalia, Kosovo, Cambodia and Afghanistan. He also recently served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, and has attended the U.S. National Defense University’s War College in Washington, D.C. Before taking on his new position, he was the Joint Engineer in Canadian Expeditionary Force Command.
When the incoming commander spoke to the parade for the first time, he demonstrated warm authority. He welcomed everyone in attendance to this important moment in his career with gratitude, giving thank to a long list of supporters.
This isn’t his first tenure in Petawawa, and he was happy to see so many familiar faces. “It is great to be back to the Valley,” he said. “... I’m honoured to be taking command of 4 CDSG and I look forward to providing your division and its numerous formations and units across Ontario with the best instittionalized support as possible to enable operational success.
“I look forward to continuing the close relationships with 4 CDSG so that we as a team working closely together can provide the best support possible for the soldiers and their families,” he added.
In just a few days, he has already witnessed a dedicated and diligent team, and he looks forward to getting to know them better.
“Change is never easy,” said Col Misener. “But I’ve been impressed at how this team has adapted so well to the continual change they face.”