Ft. Hamilton gets new commander at change of command ceremony

Ft. Hamilton gets new commander at change of command ceremony
Photo by Steve Solomonson

There’s a new commander in town.

The former commander of Fort Hamilton Army Base, Col. Peter Sicoli, handed over command of the base to Col. Andrew S. Zieseniss in a July 26 change of command ceremony at Fort Hamilton. Sicoli said that he felt thankful to have worked at the base and would always remember the strength of those he worked with.

“I truly appreciate tall the support I received from directors and their staff,” Sicoli said at the event. “I will never forget the dedication they showed through all the challenges working for this garrison presents. It was indeed an honor to serve as their commander.”

Base leaders honored Sicoli for both his character and his two years of work at Fort Hamilton at the ceremony, where the base’s director of Installation Management Command, Vincent Grewatz, presented Sicoli with a Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service and achievements. Grewatz said Sicoli was a talented leader who helped push those he worked with to achieve.

“Leaders have to be capable, innovative, and motivated to solidify success. Pete is one of those leaders who has continued to challenge his team and partnerships to up their game to succeed,” Grewatz said.

Sicoli served in command and staff positions in combat brigades throughout the U.S. and overseas, including in deployments to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, according to the base’s spokesman, Bruce Hill, who added that Sicoli also worked on army bases in Georgia and Virginia and also worked as the executive officer to the director of Office of Business Transformation at the Pentagon.

Next, Sicoli will head to San Antonio, Texas, where he will manage the directors and staff at the Installation Management Command, which handles the day-to-day operations of U.S. Army installations worldwide, according to Hill.

Fort Hamilton’s new commander, Col. Zieseniss — known as Col. Z — is originally from Saint Louis, Mo., and graduated as an infantry officer from the U.S. Military Academy in 1995, Hill said. Zieseniss worked in a variety of staff and leadership positions — including on a 2014 deployment to Afghanistan — before he graduated from U.S. Army War College on the Carlisle Barracks Army facility in Pennsylvania in 2016, according to Hill, who added that Zieseniss most recently served as a military assistant to former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and current Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Grewatz said Zieseniss’s character and years of impressive experience and commitment to the Army would serve him and the base well in his new role.

“Andy has demonstrated his contribution, passion and dedication to soldiers and their families,” Grewatz said. “He brings a long history of excellence of in both his staff and command positions from around the world, and I have absolute confidence that he will take this garrison team to even greater heights.”

The change of command happens every two years, according to the base’s public affairs director, Catherine Santo Pietro.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Well wishes: Attendees wished outgoing commander Col. Peter Sicoli luck as he passed the torch to Col. Andrew S. Zieseniss in a change of command ceremony at Fort Hamilton Army Base on July 26.
Photo by Steve Solomonson