Ronna Garrett, a key player in BRAC, to leave Fort Bragg for Pentagon
By Drew Brooks | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: March 30, 2014
An Army civilian employee with decades of service at Fort Bragg has spent her last week on the post.
Ronna Garrett, who led U.S. Army Forces Command efforts to move to Fort Bragg, will become deputy human resources director for the Army in May.
During the Forces Command move, part of the 2005 base realignment and closure, Garrett was the command's officer in charge at Fort Bragg.
She was the first to move into the command's new $300 million headquarters and routinely gave tours of the buildings to local and military dignitaries as work on the building was ongoing.
Garrett said she grew up in a military family that settled in Fayetteville and that she considers Fayetteville and Fort Bragg her home.
She began her military career on Fort Bragg as an intern in 1986 and spent years as the post's Civilian Personnel Assistance Center director before joining Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., in 2009.
Garrett said the move of the four-star command was one of the highlights of her career.
"It was a huge undertaking," she said of the efforts to move more than 2,700 civilian and military workers.
Garrett said she and others worked to make the transition as seamless as possible.
She said her experience with Fort Bragg and local leaders helped that transition.
"You're changing people's lives," Garrett said. "You have to take care of those people."
Garrett said 63 percent of the Forces Command workforce made the move, much higher than the expected number.
She worked with local groups, such as the BRAC Regional Task Force, to set up a welcome center and provide information on the area while working from temporary offices.
Having spent most of her career at Fort Bragg, Garrett said it will be bittersweet to move to the Pentagon.
She said she'll take an Iron Mike statue and a framed Forces Command guidon with her to her new offices.
She said her experiences at Fort Bragg have prepared her for the new position.
"I'm excited about being able to serve the Army at the level," she said. "But I'm going to miss being at an installation where real soldiers are training."
Eventually, Garrett said, she wants to return to the area to retire.
"I'm a transplant," she said. "But I've planted my flag here in North Carolina."
Ronna Rowe Garrett, then-officer in charge, U.S. Army Forces Command (Forward), talks about challenges facing the human resources community at Fort Bragg, N.C., related to Base Realignment and Closure during an Oct. 5, 2010, planning meeting at FORSCOM/U.S. Army Reserve Command forward headquarters.
Jim Hinnant/U.S. Army Forces Command