FORT HOOD, Texas - Friends, families and troopers gathered on 1st Cavalry Division's Cooper Field to witness the reins of America's First Team change hands.
Brig. Gen. Michael Bills took command of the 1st Cav. Div. from Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi during a ceremony March 4.
"Command at any level is not only a critical responsibility, but a sacred privilege," Bills said. "Being honored with command of one of the United States Army's most storied units, the 1st Cavalry Division is a duty I accept with the utmost devotion and dedication."
Bills join the First Team following his tenure as the acting senior commander of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson. This is Bills' first assignment with the 1st Cav. Div., but not his first time at The Great Place. Bills served as the 72nd colonel of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from 2006 to 2009.
During the ceremony, outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, passed the division colors to Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, commander, III Corps and Fort Hood, who in turn handed the division colors to Bills, officially signifying the start of Bill's command.
"I really appreciate being able to pass the colors between two great Soldiers," Milley said. "I have complete confidence in Mike Bills that he will carry on the 1st Cavalry Division's tradition of excellence."
"I am honored to serve beside you," Bills said to the troopers gathered on the field. "I look forward to accomplishing our missions, caring for our families and doing the nation's bidding together."
Ierardi will become the deputy commanding general of III Corps until his next assignment is announced this summer.
Ierardi took command of the First Team in June 2012, and during his time in command he spent half of that in a dual role as the senior mission commander of Fort Hood while III Corps was deployed to Afghanistan.
"I will miss everyone of you who has served and helped make the 1st Cavalry Division such a proud and unique unit with such a storied history," Ierardi said during his departing remarks. "As I stand here today, nothing can truly convey the enormous pride I have in all of you."