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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2023

Alder selected as first state deputy to Fort Barfoot’s garrison commander

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Virginia Department of Military Affairs employee Mike Alder began a new role as deputy to the garrison commander of Fort Barfoot Nov. 10, 2023. He previously served as the deputy director of the installation’s Directorate of Public Works.

The new position is intended to provide leadership continuity for the installation’s hundreds of DMA state employees, according to retired Brig. Gen. Walt Mercer, the DMA Chief Operations Officer. 

“Mike Alder has many years of experience and leadership service within the Maneuver Training Center and Directorate of Public Works communities,” said Mercer. “Our vision for this position is to provide continuity and subject matter expertise regarding state staffing and fiscal operations, among others areas, to the garrison commander where the largest number of our DMA staff work. Mr. Alder has the knowledge and experience to make him very effective in this capacity.”

The position is newly-created, and Alder is the first to hold the title. According to Col. James C. Shaver Jr., the Fort Barfoot garrison commander, Alder will hold a myriad of responsibilities, including state employee oversight and providing guidance to the garrison’s leadership team, as well as managing fiscal responsibilities. He will also provide steady leadership for the post’s state employees since uniformed garrison leadership rotates every few years. 

“The position is intended to provide continuity and expertise in the management and execution of state affairs on Fort Barfoot as we hold the majority of state employees within the DMA, and we service millions of dollars annually through the various cooperative agreement awards within the state procurement process,” explained Shaver. “This position is the focal point for the garrison commander to interact with subordinate, lateral, and senior state employees within the enterprise. The deputy to the commander provides recommendations and guidance, and troubleshoots issues prior to bringing them to the Garrison Commander for resolution. Since this is a new position, there will be a substantial effort to integrate this role, develop specific operating procedures, and maximize its value to the organization.”

Shaver added that Alder should be well-suited to the new leadership role, thanks to his diverse background and knowledge of the organization and the installation.  

“We are pleased to have Mr. Alder on the team after a rigorous selection process and acknowledge his many contributions to the DPW at Fort Barfoot, as well as the Fiscal Management Office prior to that,” Shaver said. “His knowledge of the installation, state procedures and experience gained from many recent challenges have set him up for success in this new role.”

Alder graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007, and has been working within the DMA ever since, starting as an architectural and engineering project manager. He moved to DPW in 2015 as the chief of engineering, plans and services before assuming the deputy director role in 2021. 

Alder said he’s looking forward to the challenge of the new role. 

“Since my start at DMA I’ve been project focused,” Alder said. “Based on this new role I can think further into the future while assisting with change that can occur much quicker than the completion of a construction project. I look forward to working with all the state employees of Fort Barfoot to identify, analyze and determine methods to overcome operational roadblocks. We have an exceptional team with extraordinary challenges and I’m willing to assist in any way that I can.”

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