New CG back on post for fifth tour
MG Michael Ferriter, left, takes the Fort Benning guidon from GEN Martin Dempsey, TRADOC commander, during Wednesday's change of command ceremony at the Parade Field at Patriot Park.

MG Michael Ferriter took command of Fort Benning and the U.S. Army Infantry Center from MG Michael Barbero during the traditional passing of the guidon and colors symbolizing the transfer of command authority Wednesday on the Parade Field adjacent to the National Infantry Museum.

"The U.S. Army Infantry Center and School is privileged to follow one great command team with another in Major General Mike and Margie Ferriter," said GEN Martin Dempsey, Training and Doctrine commander and reviewing officer. "Mike Ferriter is an outstanding Soldier, Infantryman and leader. He is certainly no stranger to Fort Benning."

A 1979 graduate of The Citadel, Ferriter was assigned to Fort Benning for the officer basic and advanced courses, was the operations officer for the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, regimental operations officer for 75th Ranger Regiment and commanded the 11th Infantry Regiment.

Ferriter comes to Fort Benning after serving as the deputy commanding general for Operations, 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. He has served in various capacities at the command and staff level during his career and has combat tours in Somalia and Iraq.

"He brings a wealth of experience and a diverse background of service to TRADOC," Dempsey said.
Outgoing commander Barbero said when he learned he was leaving, Dempsey asked him who should be his replacement.

"The one officer I recommended was Mike Ferriter," Barbero said. "With his impeccable credentials and sterling reputation Major General Ferriter is the right man and the right leader to usher in the Maneuver Center of Excellence and to lead Fort Benning during this historic period of change. Fort Benning is blessed to have Mike and Margie Ferriter as their new command team and it is truly a great day for Fort Benning."

In assuming command, Ferriter said while the task of transforming Fort Benning into the MCOE is "huge," the effort is well underway. Ferriter credited the leadership of Barbero and the hard work of Fort Benning, Fort Knox and TRADOC for the progress.

Ferriter credited Barbero with helping him throughout his career, but said this (assignment) was the best yet.

"A few weeks ago, Mike called a few times and asked if I knew what my next job would be," Ferriter said. "Each time I would tell him I am not sure. And he just kept saying, 'Don't worry.' And then he would say, 'Follow me.' Now I know what he meant by follow me."

Ferriter said while some things may change, Fort Benning will continue to support an Army at war, prepare for the future through training, leader and combat development and enhance the quality of life for Soldiers and families under his command.

"Margie and I are thrilled to return to Fort Benning," he said. "We will embrace each day and commit ourselves to provide the best leadership we can."

Barbero assumed command of USAIC in November. The president nominated Barbero for promotion to lieutenant general. Barbero's next assignment takes him to Iraq where he will command the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, NATO Training Mission-Iraq, U.S. Central Command.

"Over the last eight months, Mike's passion for Soldiers, his seasoned judgment and his combat experience has guided the Infantry Center and contributed to the development of those warriors, who are even today, walking point for our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," Dempsey said. "As the commanding general of Fort Benning, he was your champion for the support of Soldiers, families and this great community."

"I leave here a better leader and Soldier," Barbero said. "Having received more than I have given, enriched in so many ways. It has been my highest honor to have served with you," Barbero said.

Page last updated Fri June 26th, 2009 at 11:37