New commander named in FORSCOM

June 3, 2010 9:17:08 PM PDT
The beginning of the new era at Fort Bragg began Thursday morning when three stars turned into a four.General James Thurman is now the FORSCOM Commander. During the next 15 months, his focus will be on moving thousands of soldiers and civilian employees from Georgia to their new home in North Carolina.

"The people of FORSCOM, soldiers and civilians alike, know our mission and are firmly dedicated to accomplishing it," Thurman said. "To meet the needs of the combatant commanders by resourcing, training and caring for the most capable and highly regarded soldiers in the world."

The ceremony was complete with an Army marching band, a 17 cannon salute and Chief of Staff of the Army praising the incoming commander.

"He's well prepared," Army Chief of Staff General George Casey said. "In his 35 years of service to Army he spent almost 28 and a half as a Commander and Operations Officer. So to lead FORSCOM as it continues to make a difference in this fight, he will bring a wealth of timely and relevant experience."

The 56-year-old general is no stranger to Fort Bragg. He served in the 17th Cavalry Regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division during the 1980s.

Thurman is an artilleryman who loves the cavalry. That's why he reviewed the troops on horseback.

"He understands soldiers, he understands families, he understands the Army," Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick said. "So I think the Army picked the right guy to lead Forces Command."

The challenge for the general is to continue making sure the Army is fit to fight wars on two battle fronts, while moving his command post to Fort Bragg.

Well, it's huge," Helmick said. "We will be the only installation in the entire world that will have one four star command and four three star commands there, again, just another feather in our hat to be the largest military installation in the world."

The move really gets underway beginning March of 2011. And if all goes well the entire command in Georgia will be at Fort Bragg by the end of that year.

The FORSCOM move will bring thousands of new jobs and military contractors to the area.

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