Utah Army National Guard promotes Summit County manager
November 8, 2016
Summit County Manager Tom Fisher was promoted to brigadier general for the Utah Army National Guard during a change-of-command ceremony on Saturday that was attended by state and local leaders.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Congressman Jason Chaffetz honored the former colonel and 26-year veteran at a ceremony in Draper. Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez, Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt, and County Council members Chris Robinson and Kim Carson also attended the event.
"It's quite an honor to be selected because when you get to this level in the pyramid it gets pretty tight," Fisher said in an interview with The Park Record. "To have the governor and the adjunct general select me to do that job is an honor. What it means to me, personally, is I get to spend at least another three years in the military mentoring and training soldiers."
Fisher assumes the role of land component commander, responsible for overseeing the training of approximately 1,000 soldiers to ensure the units are ready to deploy or respond to state emergencies. The units will mainly be comprised of soldiers specializing in engineering and logistics, he said.
Fisher replaces former Brig. Gen. Val Peterson, who has served as land component commander since Oct. 2012. Peterson remains the vice president for finance and administration at Utah Valley University and a representative for District 59 in the Utah Legislature, according to a press release.
"It's been an interesting journey for us, but what I see in Tom is that he is a great leader," said his wife, Sheri Fisher. "He is the most inspired when he is in that role. He loves to develop and lead people and I am not surprised by his promotion at all."
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Fisher, who grew up in a family with strong military ties, became involved in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) while studying at Michigan State University. His brother graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and remains active in the Army Reserves.
"Like most college kids, I had no idea what I wanted to be. I decided to go through the program and learn along the way, but after my junior year of college it really clicked with me," Fisher said. "I enjoyed the process of Army leadership and working with the people I was able to work with."
Fisher transferred to the Utah Army National Guard when he moved to the state in 1998 and assisted with the Winter Olympics in 2002. He was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom between 2003 and 2005 and responded to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 when he returned. He has commanded Utah's 204th maneuver Enhancement Brigade since August of 2012.
Fisher became the second-ever county manager for Summit County in 2014 when he replaced former Manager Bob Jasper. While he expects his duties as a brigadier general to require more of his time, he emphasized it will not take away from his duties as county manager.
"My jobs are very similar at the county and in the military," Fisher said. "What it is really about is serving, whether it is the citizens, the state or the country. It is about helping the people that are doing that public service with you to be better so they not only meet their own goals professionally, but they are able to serve when called upon by their citizens or their country."
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