Maj Gen Abrams assumes command of 3rd ID from Maj Gen Cucolo
April 21, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga.- With 29 years of service, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Abrams comes to the Marne Division, April 15, after serving as the 17th commanding general of Fort Irwin and the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Ca.
Major General Abrams said the 3rd ID is a top division in the Army, proven by the division's constant deployments in recent years, and he vows to continue to extend the division legacy during his time as commander.
"We are going to train and prepare for any possible contingency," he said. "We have Soldiers in the division and leaders who are confident in themselves, confident in their leaders, and confident in their unit's ability to deploy to any contingency."
U.S. Army Forces Command commander, General James D. Thurman praised the new Marne 6.
"General Abrams is the right man at the right place at the right time," said Gen. Thurman. "This is a great fit for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield."
After 33 months leading the Marne Division, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo passed the reins of the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield to Maj. Gen. Abrams in a ceremony at Cottrell Field, April 15.
Prior to the change of command, Maj. Gen. Cucolo and his wife were awarded for their work with the Soldiers and Families of the 3rd ID. General Thurman presented Maj. Gen. Cucolo with The Distinguished Service Medal and his wife, Ginger, was presented the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for her service and activities to improve the quality of life for Soldiers, Civilians and Families of the 3rd ID.
General Thurman, a previous Dogface Soldier, presided at the ceremony and praised the efforts of the Marne Soldiers under Maj. Gen. Cucolo's leadership during the division's most recent deployment to Iraq.
"Under [Maj. Gen.] Tony Cucolo's leadership, Rock of the Marne units have remained the tip of the nation's spear," said Gen. Thurman. "Army formations from Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and the great Soldiers assigned to them have taken the fight to the enemy."
Major General Cucolo's voice wavered with emotion as he spoke as the Marne Division commander for the last time.
"It has been my dream come true to affix a uniform every morning that had a Marne patch on the left side and a Marne patch on the right side," he said. "It's the only patch with 51 Medals of Honor... with that patch on, you feel like you should stand a little taller and be better at your duties."
Local dignitaries, retired and current general officers, fellow service members and friends from around the community gathered to bid farewell to the Maj. Gen. and Mrs. Cucolo, and to welcome Maj. Gen. Abrams and his wife, Connie Abrams.
During the ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Ashmen handed authority to Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson. Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Ashmen retired after 31 years of service. Command Sergeant Major Watson most recently served as the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team command sergeant major.