Community welcomes new deputy commander
November 29, 2013
FORT DRUM, NY -- Soldiers, friends, community members and the 10th Mountain Division (LI) command group attended a Mountain Salute ceremony Thursday to welcome Brig. Gen. Michael L. Howard and his Family to Fort Drum.
Howard will lead the division as deputy commanding general -- rear while the 10th Mountain Division headquarters prepares for deployment early next year.
"He is the perfect guy to lead this division," said Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander. "I am confident in you, that I will not have to look over my shoulder while I'm down range and worry about things back here."
Howard returns to Fort Drum after most recently serving as director of future operations for International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Afghani-stan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He previously commanded 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, and deployed in support of OEF. Upon redeployment, he served as 10th Mountain Division (LI) assistant chief of staff, G3, rear.
He again deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as commander of 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
Townsend said Howard's duties will include overseeing the reset of the returning 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams, seeing off the division headquarters and 10th Sustainment Brigade, and supporting the already deployed units from 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams while taking care of Soldiers and community members here.
"He's got broad shoulders," Townsend said.
"He's up to the task."
Once Townsend concluded his speech, a round of applause and the customary battery salute, Pfc. Gary White, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, gave the general a round from the salute to present to Howard as a token of appreciation.
After the presentation, Howard addressed the audience.
"I'm honored and humbled that all of you are here today," the general said. "There have been a lot of changes on post since I was last here. A few things have not changed. The command climate, the can-do attitude of the garrison units, the community support -- it's still the standard in the Army, and the prestige and reputation of the Mountain (Soldiers) haven't changed."
"I'm not going to let you down sir," Howard said. "I'm not going to let Fort Drum down, and I guarantee you and everyone in this place that next year is going to run just as if Townsend were here."
After a round of applause, the ceremony concluded with the 10th Mountain Division song, the Army song and an invitation to guests to attend a reception for the Howards at the Commons.