Gen. Daniel B. Allyn assumed command of the Army's largest organization--U.S. Army Forces Command--during a ceremony May 10 on Fort Bragg, N.C.
FORSCOM is responsible for 265,000 active-duty Soldiers and 560,000 Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers stationed across the country. These men and women are the strength of the United States and the U.S. Army, Allyn said during his remarks.
"They are why it is such a privilege and joy to serve and lead, and [they] have borne the brunt of the nation's burden since 9/11 with grace, confidence, competence and quiet professionalism," he said.
"Our mission in Army Forces Command remains vital to our nation's defense," Allyn said. "Forces Command sustains its legacy of excellence because of a solid foundation based on commitment to service and our Army values. On this foundation stand the determined Soldiers and talented civilians of Forces Command who understand the importance of the work the Army is doing at home and around the world."
To ensure the Army's readiness, FORSCOM will exemplify the teamwork so routinely exhibited by deployed forces, Allyn said.
"We do this across all components ... tightly integrated with our partner commands across the Army … and our sister services as a joint force, in order to maintain an operational force that is ready to execute any mission across the full range of military operations," Allyn said, "in any environment; against any threat."
FORSCOM will continue to maximize partnerships in order to be responsive to the nation's requirements for mission-ready forces, Allyn said. These partners not only include joint, interagency and multinational organizations and leaders, but also local friends and neighbors to the military community.
"The military and the civilian communities surrounding our FORSCOM installations across the country are tightly integrated," Allyn said. "Our military communities are present in times of need, particularly as we enter our second decade of repetitive deployments worldwide. We, your Army family, are grateful."
During the ceremony, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, promoted Allyn to the rank of general before passing him the FORSCOM colors in front of an audience of nearly 300, including U.S. Army and local civilian leaders.
"Forces Command and Dan Allyn, as its leader, will play an important role in guiding our future force, as we implement new readiness concepts and new doctrine with the same requirement to ensure that our forces are ready to deploy at a moment's notice," Odierno said during the ceremony. "These challenges are significant, and will require an experienced and innovative leader … who help us rebalance all our components as we posture our Army to be successful for the future."
"I'm totally confident that Dan Allyn is that leader," Odierno said, citing Allyn's experience commanding military units of various sizes and capabilities in combat, to include light airborne mechanized, ranger and combined joint formations. Allyn has also worked closely with the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard throughout his career, Odierno said.
As the FORSCOM Commanding General, Allyn is responsible for providing trained and ready conventional land power to combatant commanders worldwide in defense of the United States at home and abroad. This mandate includes manning, equipping and training the Army's active-duty conventional combat and combat-support units, as well as providing training and readiness oversight to the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. FORSCOM's subordinate units, located across the continental United States, include five headquarters led by lieutenant generals (U.S. Army Reserve Command, 1st Army, I Corps, III Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps) and nine division headquarters led by major generals.
"Today we are at a critical juncture in our nation's history," Odierno said. "We are experiencing a time of fiscal constraint, worldwide uncertainty and the continuous evolution of warfare. This is all occurring simultaneously as we wind down from over 12 years of conflict."
FORSCOM is at the fore-front of ensuring the U.S. Army is ready when it's needed to serve the nation, Odierno said, emphasizing that almost 60,000 Soldiers were serving in Afghanistan as he spoke. Thousands more were serving in Kuwait, the Horn of Africa, Kosovo and the Sinai.
"Since 2001, these great young men and women have earned over 15,000 medals of valor, to include seven medals of honor, 27 distinguished service crosses and 692 silver stars; and these numbers continue to grow every day," Odierno said, praising these Soldiers' courage, commitment and willingness to sacrifice themselves for their fellow Soldiers.
"It's our solemn responsibility to ensure they are prepared, trained, ready and well-led--whenever our nation might call on them to continue to protect this great country of ours," he said.
Along his path of military service, Allyn said he's had the good fortune to work with, and for, the greatest leaders of this generation over the past three decades. He's come this far in the military thanks to teamwork, trust and an Army that allows its members to lead heroic Soldiers in historic outfits, he said.
Allyn's past command assignments within FORSCOM include the XVIII Airborne Corps and 1st Cavalry Division. Since graduating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1981, he's served overseas in Korea, Grenada, Egypt, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and is both a combat infantryman and a master parachutist.
"The challenges we face are tremendous, but we will prevail," Allyn said. "We will continue to deliver mission success to the highest standards in all that we do."