Marne Division honors leaders at Welcome Retreat
July 20, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - As the Coastal Georgia rain poured over the home of the Third Infantry Division last week, it was not enough to postpone the Welcome Retreat ceremony held at Marne Garden, July 14.
“This is the Third Infantry Division; no rain or a little thunder and a little lightning are going to scare us off,” Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, Third Infantry Division commanding general, said as he extended gratitude to the guests who attended the Retreat ceremony. “I’m very appreciative of our community leaders, the mayor, our veterans, other supporters of the Division and everybody who took the time out of their day to come on out.”
In honor of Col. Roger Cloutier, deputy commanding general for maneuver, and his Family as well as Col. Leopoldo Quintas, Chief of Staff, and his Family, the Retreat ceremony welcomes leaders who are no strangers to the Marne community.
Prior to serving as the deputy commanding general for maneuver, Col. Cloutier commanded the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team in 2008 and most recently served as the chief of staff.
“What you don’t realize is how a unique place Coastal Georgia, Fort Stewart and the Marne Division are until you leave,” Col. Cloutier said. “I left for eight months after battalion command, and it was really only then that I realized how special the Third Infantry Division is and what it means to be part of such a legacy.”
Before becoming the current Chief of Staff, Col. Quintas’ first assignment was tank platoon leader for the Third Infantry Division.
“The Quintas team is truly honored to be here,” he said. “We have ties to the Third Infantry Division and Fort Stewart reaching back more than 24 years. I started as a second lieutenant for the Third Infantry Division . . . In many ways, the Quintas Family has returned to its roots.”
Major General Abrams expressed honor as he welcomed two top leaders to the Marne community. He states that the two outstanding senior leaders are proven warriors, and he cannot think of better officers to serve as the deputy commanding general of maneuver and chief of staff.
“(Colonel Cloutier) is a proven warrior and an equally proven team builder and innovator, who has the exact right [set] of skills for the tough mission that lies ahead,” said Maj. Gen. Abrams of the newly appointed DCG of maneuver. “Besides from the fact that I handpicked (Col. Quintas), this is a senior leader who is a proven combat warrior. He served in missions that have given him unique insights of how the Army runs, how senior Army leaders make decisions, which are incredibly important [skills] for a chief to have.”
With Maj. Gen. Abrams deploying with Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion later this year, he shares that Col. Cloutier will serve as DCG-rear during his absence.
“I personally thank (Col. Cloutier) for these last few months as he has set the path, set the conditions for the success of Division Headquarters deploying,” he said. “Colonel Cloutier is going to serve as the deputy commanding general-rear and, as the acting senior commander of Fort Stewart when the Division deploys to Iraq, I have the utmost confidence of his abilities to be there for the Soldiers and Families. . . in my absence.”
Following the shell casing presentation, Soldiers, Family Members and guests participated in singing the Dog Face Soldier and Army songs after the ceremony.