By Spc. Paul A. Holston/XVIII Abn. Corps PAOJuly 3, 2013
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - For the fourth consecutive time, a West Point Academy graduate has taken over the responsibilities of "America's Contingency Corps."
A canopy of clouds hung low over the ceremony as the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg community welcomed their newest commander, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, who assumed command on the Main Post Parade Field, Tuesday.
Anderson, along with his wife, Beth, sat next to the Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, U.S. Army Forces Command commanding general, during the ceremony, who placed Anderson in command of the Army's largest warfighting force.
As the clouds transitioned to a summer downpour, Allyn welcomed Anderson, assuring the community that it was receiving a dynamic and competent leader.
"He has led our Soldiers with distinction during 32 years of service to the nation," said Allyn. "General Anderson brings a wealth of experience of proven leadership to the corps. He is a prudent, combat veteran with impeccable credentials regarding combat and operational deployments in Panama, Albania, Kosovo and three tours in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn."
A native of New York, Anderson is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Prior to assuming command of the XVIII Abn. Corps, Anderson served as the commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colo. from November 2011 to March 2013. During this tour, Anderson trained and prepared more than four brigade combat teams for successful deployments to Afghanistan, one of which assumed duties as the first security force assistance brigade.
"It's hard to believe that this day has finally arrived since my phone call from the chief of staff back in December," said Anderson. "We are grateful for this opportunity and privilege to finally return to Fort Bragg after 14 years.
"It's very evident that Fort Bragg has a perfect mix of positive command climate, a local community that truly cares, veterans with a proud history and quality Soldiers with an important mission," said Anderson.
"It is really great to be back home to of the home of the airborne and special operations forces," he added.
Anderson also acknowledged the importance of the community of Fayetteville, and said their support helps every Soldier and Family in every way.
"What you do is vitally apparent both on and off the installation," said Anderson. We simply cannot perform our duties without your support."
Anderson is no stranger to Fort Bragg, having served as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from May 1997 to July 1999. As battalion commander, Anderson was in charge of Task Force Hawk in Albania and Task Force Falcon in Kosovo. He has served in all five types of infantry units -- airborne, air assault, Ranger, light and mechanized.