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First Army Division East changes command Tuesday on Brooks Field

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By DARRYL HOWLETT

First Army Division East welcomed a new commanding general while saying goodbye to the outgoing commander during a change of command ceremony on Fort Knox’s Brooks Field Tuesday.

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Maj. Gen. Todd McCaffrey relinguished command to Maj. Gen.
Brian McKiernan. McCaffrey previously served as deputy commanding
general, U.S. Army Pacific, at
Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

McKiernan, a field artillery officer, heads west to become the new commanding general for the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

“This is truly a bittersweet day for me,” McKiernan said. “While I am not ready to depart First Army, I feel there is so much more to do. The fact that the Army is sending me to serve at Fort Sill, where I started my career, takes some of the sting out of it.”

McKiernan served as First Army Division East commanding general since August 2015, when he took over the command at Fort Meade, Maryland. In November of that same year, Division East cased its colors and moved to Fort Knox.

First Army commanding general, Lt. Gen. Michael Tucker, served as guest speaker during the ceremony and applauded McKiernan for his efforts.

“What a fabulous day to hold a change of command ceremony for our Division East teammates,” Tucker said. “Today’s ceremony is bittersweet for me and Maj. Gen. McKiernan. The Department of the Army ‘poached’ one my all-star utility infielders to become the next commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

“Maj. Gen. McKiernan and his adroit leadership, keen analytical insights and recommendations, as well as steady hands on the helm have been instrumental in achieving mission success while juggling multiple missions throughout his short, but outstanding command tenure.”

McKiernan was earlier awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership during Division East’s transition as well as implementing Operation Bold Shift across the Division East formations. OBS improves First Army’s ability to provide premiere training support to Reserve component Soldiers particularly in the premobilization time frame.

Tucker also welcomed McCaffrey and his Family to First Army and Fort Knox.

“Maj. Gen. McCaffrey is a combat-tested leader and trainer who understands the Army’s need to sustain the readiness of all our Army formations and is ready to ‘get after it’ for the Division East team and our partnered reserve component formations,” he said.

McCaffrey said he’s ready for his new mission with First Army.

“Thank you Lt. Gen. Tucker and Gen. (Robert) Abrams for giving me this opportunity to lead First Army Division East,” he said. “I look forward to working with Division East and the staff at First Army headquarters.”

McCaffrey said he also looked forward to working with the commands at Fort Knox.

First Army Division East mobilizes, trains, deploys and demobilizes Reserve component forces in accordance with combatant commanders, Department of the Army and Forces Command directives. Division East provides training to joint, interagency, combined and active Army forces as directed, and provides pre- through post-mobilization training support to Reserve component forces for contingency and deployment expeditionary force requirements.

Division East commands five brigades including 4th Cavalry Brigade, also headquartered at Fort Knox. Division East was activated March 7, 2007
at Fort Meade, Maryland. n