By Patrick N. Buffett, Fort Lee Public Affairs Office
FORT LEE, Virginia – Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox and Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Rick Holcomb were among the dignitaries in attendance at a grand opening celebration here Tuesday, highlighting the new Fort Lee DMV branch office location in the Soldier Support Center.
Other significant attendees included Virginia Senator Rosalyn Dance, Delegates Riley Ingram and Emily Brewer; Maj. Gen. Rodney Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general; Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Perry, CASCOM CSM; Patrick MacKenzie, deputy to the garrison commander; and CSM Vittorio DeSouza, garrison CSM.
In introductory remarks, Holcomb acknowledged his appreciation of the longstanding DMV/Fort Lee partnership that resulted in the initial standup of a branch office on post in November 2012. It is only one-of-two such offices on military property in Virginia – its older sibling was established at the Pentagon in 1974. The projects represent the commonwealth’s commitment to making Virginia the most veteran-friendly state in the nation, the commissioner emphasized.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better location,” said Holcomb in reference to the new office digs just inside the main entrance of the SSC, a place where community members and veterans go for military in-processing, ID card renewals, retirement and career transition assistance, and much more.
“I thank the command for its generosity in completing the build-out that made it possible for us to get this office up and running,” Holcomb continued. “We were certainly busy at the old location (in the Bloom building on Battle Drive), and we expect to be even busier now, which is all part of better-serving the military community.”
Fogg praised the state’s support of the Army Family during his time at the lectern. “This is a wonderful example of that commitment to take care of our Soldiers, families and veterans,” he told the assembled guests. “I know I’ve used this facility, and my daughter got her license here … so I recognize the value this brings to our community. We really appreciate it.”
Cox said he witnessed the positive attitude toward customer support the minute he stepped inside the branch office. The observation reflected an earlier statement by Holcomb who noted how the service agents at the center are trained and experienced to meet the unique DMV needs of the mobile military family.
Alluding to previous comments about Virginia being a veteran-friendly state, Cox asked for the audience’s indulgence as he “bragged a bit” about the general assembly.
“We’ve done a lot,” he said. “I think we now have about three or four state-of-the-art veteran care centers (including Sitter and Barfoot within the McGuire Veteran’s Hospital footprint). They are an example of how we honor our service men and women no matter when they served.
“We started the V3, Virginia Values Veterans, program last year,” he continued. “It addresses a key issue of how our military transitions to the private sector (by providing support services and business-owner networking events). That’s so important because what we hear time and again from employers is the best employees come straight out of the military because they’re on time, eager to learn and passionate about professionalism.
“These are examples of our commitment to you and the reason I’m here today,” Cox concluded. “It’s an honor, and we cannot thank you enough for what Fort Lee does for our community.”
Ingram, Dance and Brewer also expressed their appreciation to the community and acknowledge the importance of their partnership with Fort Lee. The distinguished guests then took their place alongside installation leaders for the ribbon cutting, which concluded the ceremony.
The DMV branch office is located in Room 118 at the SSC. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a full-service location providing vehicle licensing and registration, requests for vital records, fishing and hunting licenses, road testing and more.
Fort Lee is the Army’s Home of Sustainment and supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army logistics professionals. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports approximately 90,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees and boasts an economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.