10th Mountain Division honors outgoing, incoming deputy commanders
June 20, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The 10th Mountain Division (LI) command group conducted a Mountain Salute ceremony Wednesday at Sexton Field on post for the outgoing deputy commanding general for support and the incoming deputy commander for support.
Soldiers, Family Members and friends first honored Brig. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the division's outgoing deputy commanding general for support, who was accompanied by his wife, Cynthia, and his daughter, Jessica. They both received red roses as a token of the division's gratitude for their unwavering support of Soldiers, Family Members and the greater North Country community.
Col. Carl A. Alex, incoming deputy commander for support, was accompanied by his wife, Olesya, who received yellow roses. The yellow roses symbolized the warmest of welcomes and the community's heartfelt wishes for good friendships and wonderful memories during the Family's new journey.
During the ceremony, Piatt looked back at his time at Fort Drum and thanked the community for its support.
"Cynthia and I came here to serve; we are now leaving feeling that we were given much more than we gave," Piatt said. "All of you have touched out lives in a special way, and we leave here better people for having served with all of you."
The division was fully represented at the ceremony by Soldiers lined up on the field facing audience members and holding unit colors.
The 10th Mountain Division Band performed several songs during the ceremony, including the national anthem.
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, talked about how much he would miss Piatt.
"It is like I am losing my right arm as Brig. Gen. Piatt leaves our team," he said. "But I also feel like he is being replaced by a strong leader, Col. Alex."
Alex thanked Townsend for welcoming him to his team, and he also thanked the Piatts for helping them move to Fort Drum and join the 10th Mountain Division's team.
"Olesya and I thank the Fort Drum community, and especially Brig. Gen. Piatt and Mrs. Piatt, for one of the smoothest transitions and integrations we have experienced," Alex said. "We look forward to serving in the 10th Mountain Division and living in the North Country."
Piatt will become commanding general of the Joint Multinational Training Command, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.
"The Soldiers assigned here are the toughest in the Army; they execute operations with disciplined initiative, live on amber, hit what they shoot, and have the strength to operate under harsh conditions," Piatt added. "Joining our team is another great Soldier, Carl Alex. We in the 10th are fortunate to have such a warrior and gentleman."
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the 10th Mountain Division Song and the Army Song.