Maj. Gen. Joseph P. DiSalvo assumed command of U.S. Army South from Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim during a change-of-command ceremony June 24 in front of the Army South headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
DiSalvo took over command of Army South following an assignment as the U.S. Southern Command chief of staff. Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, hosted the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Kelly took the time to praise the progress Army South has shown in the nine months under Rudesheim's command, and said he looks forward to how that progress will continue to grow under DiSalvo's watch.
"Today's not just about saying hello and goodbye, it's about recognizing the accomplishment of Fred and his great team," said Kelly. "It's all about celebrating the partnerships that U.S. Army South has built all across Latin America and the Caribbean; partnerships that have deepened during your tour, Fred, will continue to flourish under Joe's leadership."
While commanding Army South, Rudesheim was able to oversee several staff talks with partner nations, humanitarian missions, peacekeeping exercises and a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for a contingency response exercise. While saying goodbye to the command, he reflected on all his command accomplished.
"I'm as proud as I can be of Army South. They've done everything that we have asked them to do and more," said Rudesheim. "We said it was all about partnering in a region where you can't do anything without partner nation buy-in and we worked to earn their trust, making 'Juntos Podemos' (Together We Can) a mindset, not just a motto."
"I never aspired to be the best commander, I just wanted to command the best unit," he added.
Kelly echoed Rudesheim's belief in partnering in the region.
"Success is a cooperative effort and the only way Army South will achieve is by working side-by-side with our many partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Alone we fail. Together, we succeed."
After serving at SOUTHCOM, DiSalvo brings an understanding of Army South's mission in the area of operations that will greatly assist as him as he transitions into his new role.
"We will have challenges, but there is nothing that can prevent ARSOUTH from being a relevant partner in the SOUTHCOM AOR, and impact positively across the spectrum our mission spans," said DiSalvo. "Teamwork, initiative, commitment and integrity are the resources that we must have. To our partner nations, we must continue to raise the bar in partnership and developing each others capacities in dealing with illicit networks, regional security and combined contingency operations."
DiSalvo is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, holding a Bechelor of Science degree. He also holds a Master of Science degree in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.