By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander
Yesterday during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, we passed the directorship of AW2 from one great hero and wounded Soldier, COL Greg Gadson, to COL Timothy Karcher, another wounded Soldier and great hero.
to highlight the significance of WTC and its mission, and to also recognize the importance of the AW2 director and what it represents. In fact, the Secretary of the Army described it best when he was recently quoted as saying, “caring for wounded warriors is a sacred obligation.”
A lot of people don’t realize that the Army continues its relationship with this population even after they transition from military service. COL Gadson has been a leader of these efforts. COL Gadson strengthened that relationship over the past two years as director of AW2. During that time and under his leadership AW2 flourished and now supports more than 11,000 individuals,9,700 of which are Veterans, the others are assigned to one of the 29 Warrior Transition Units throughout
the United States and Europe.
He’s been an extraordinary AW2 director, father, husband, war hero, in-demand speaker, movie star, and not to mention an inspirational motivator for the New York Giants. He’s done a superb job.
As a result of his willingness to lead from the front, not only has our leadership taken notice, but so have the media, Congress and public, private, and non-profit organizations. In a very real way, our nation stepped forward and embraced Greg Gadson and the population he represents.
As he moves on to command Fort Belvoir, I’m very grateful that COL Karcher agreed to accept the challenge that comes along
with being the next AW2 director. He has held many command and staff positions in the United States and in Europe.
COL Karcher is an impressive officer and Soldier who deployed to Iraq three times. During his second deployment, he was shot in his left arm and evacuated from theater, only to return to complete the deployment with his unit. During his third deployment while serving in Sadr City, Iraq in 2009, his vehicle was struck by an explosively formed penetrator resulting in the amputation of both legs above the knee. Since then COL Karcher has been recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
These two officers are very similar. Both are heroes and role models, both are clearly meant for great things, and both are
at the right place at the right time to represent and advocate for our country’s most severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.
I feel very fortunate to have had COL Greg Gadson as the AW2 director for the last two years and wish him well in his next
assignment. We are equally fortunate to have COL Timothy Karcher to pick up and carry the torch for the Army as we continue
to stand by this population of Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.
I thank COL Gadson from the bottom of my heart for his courage and willingness to serve. We are all better for knowing him.
As my own tenure as Commander of the Warrior Transition Command rapidly comes to a close, I’m sorry that I won’t have the opportunity to work with COL Karcher to take AW2 and the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program (WTCP) to new
heights, but I believe in him and feel confident the program will flourish under his leadership.