Lee takes command of the 91st Training Division at Fort Hunter Liggett
July 2, 2012
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - Brig. Gen. Jon D. Lee assumed command of the 91st Training Division (Operations) June 29 in a change of command ceremony at Fort Hunter Liggett. Maj. Gen. David W. Puster, commanding general of 84th Training Command, was present to transfer the unit colors to Lee from Brig. Gen. James T. Cook, who retires from the U.S. Army Reserve after leading the division for three years.
Lee is an infantry officer who is a native of Wailuku on the island of Maui and lives in Pearl City, Hawaii. He is a graduate of the University of Santa Clara, where he received a bachelor of science degree in commerce. He is also a graduate of Airborne School, Air Assault School, Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.
The ceremony began with the traditional ceremonial pageantry. Thirteen cannon bursts filled the air and Cook was presented with the last shell to honor his tenure. The audience stood for the presentation of the colors and honors. The division's standing units in formation on the field were brought to present arms, then parade rest, and the three generals made an inspection of the troops.
Cook, filled with emotion, thanked everyone present and especially the soldiers for their contribution to his command. He gave special thanks to former mentors and the officers of the 104th Infantry Division. He recalled the words of his father, a first sergeant: "Take care of the Soldiers and the Army will take care of you. I want to thank my staff that allowed me to have fun leading this great division."
Lee enthusiastically accepted the 91st Training Division command. "I am humbled and pleased to command a division with such rich history," he said. "And I will do my best to lead this unit into the future."
In the center of the parade field, the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit takes place. The command sergeant major, who is the keeper of the divisional colors, passes the colors to the outgoing commanding general. He then passes the colors to the representative of the higher command, symbolizing the relinquishment of his command. The higher commander then delivers the colors to the new commanding general. Finally, the new commander passes it back to the command sergeant major.
After the ceremony, Lee hosted a luncheon at Fort Hunter Liggett's historic Hacienda Milpitas. He took a moment to thank everyone who helped in the success of the event.
"I'm honored to be here, but words don't mean anything. Deeds do," he said. "I want to sustain all the efforts General Cook brought to the 91st and Army Reserve, and leverage those efforts in the joint area of operation."
The 91st Division has a proud history of military service dating back to World War I. It was constituted Aug. 5, 1917, at Camp Lewis, Wash. and since 1959, has focused on training Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the western United States. The division trains multi-service units with realistic but safe training to satisfy training objectives and meet mission-essential tasks. The division's current mission is to conduct annual large scale training events at Fort Hunter Liggett.