(Photo by Rachel Cox)
FORT HOOD (December 20, 2012)—Four days after arriving in Central Texas, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley assumed command of III Corps and Fort Hood Thursday during a ceremony on post.
The former commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum in New York received a warm response when he referred to Fort Hood as "The Greatest Place," instead of "The Great Place."
"In 96 hours more people from this installation and the surrounding communities, many of whom I don't even know their names, have wrapped their arms around Holly and I and have showed us the love and warmth of Central Texas, and I have to tell you that speaks volumes," Milley said.
Milley is a 1980 graduate of Princeton University who was commissioned through the ROTC.
His initial assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division and later the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.
Before assuming command of Fort Drum, he served as the Joint Staff's deputy director for regional operations at the Pentagon.
His deployments include tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Haiti.
Milley said a challenge and priority he will face at Fort Hood is preparing soldiers for future deployments.
"We've already done an exercise in Germany and now we've got a couple of months left before we deploy and then we want to make sure that we get ourselves up to the absolute highest operational readiness capability prior to deployment," Milley said.
Milley said one of his first priorities is to learn more about Fort Hood and Central Texas.
Community leaders in Central Texas such as Copperas Cove Mayor John Hull said they're also looking forward to the partnership Milley will be able to strengthen between Fort Hood and the military communities that surround it.