FORT McPHERSON, Ga. (Jan. 9, 2007) -- Gen. Charles C. Campbell became the 17th commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) during a ceremony on Hedekin Field here today.

Campbell, who had served as FORSCOM's deputy commanding general and chief of staff since April 26, succeeds Gen. Dan K. McNeill whose next assignment will be in Afghanistan as the commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's International Security and Assistance Force there.

As commander of the largest command in the U.S. Army, Campbell now oversees the training and readiness of more than 750,000 Soldiers in the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve, plus 2,400 Army civilians.

The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, hosted the ceremony. He characterized the event as an important milestone in the life of the Army, describing the tradition of formally changing command in front of the troops as fundamental to the military's vitality.

Air Force Gen. Lance Smith, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, also participated in the ceremony. FORSCOM is the land component of JFCOM.

Some of the distinguished guests who attended the event were:

Aca,!Ac the Honorable Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army;
Aca,!Ac retired Korean Gen. Paik, Sun Yup, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republic of Korea Army;
Aca,!Ac retired Gen. Edwin H. Burba, Jr.;
Aca,!Ac retired Gen. Larry R. Ellis;
Aca,!Ac retired Gen. Leon Laporte;
Aca,!Ac retired Gen. Buck Kernan;
Aca,!Ac and the Honorable Connie Deyton, mayor of Forest Park, Ga.

During his remarks, Campbell thanked the Soldiers present on the parade field and the tens of thousands of FORSCOM Soldiers they represented. He closed his remarks with a message to Soldiers. "Master your craft. Tend to your kit. Have pride in your colors. Obey your orders. Be loyal to your leaders. Be a friend to your comrades. And be a selfless servant to those who have been placed in your charge."

Campbell, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, earned his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Louisiana State University. His initial assignment was as an instructor at the Infantry Training Command (Provisional), U.S. Army Training Center Infantry, Fort Ord, Calif..

After Special Forces training, Campbell taught tactics at Forces Armee' National Khmere Training Command, Army Advisory Group, Phouc Tuy Training Battalion, U.S. Army, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he subsequently served as A-Detachment executive officer and commander.

Campbell's succeeding commands include a combat support company in the 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas; an armor battalion in the 3rd Armored Division, U.S. Army Europe; and a heavy brigade in the 2nd Infantry Division, Eighth Army, Republic of Korea; Commanding General, 7th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; and Commanding General, Eighth Army in Korea.

FORSCOM's new commanding general also served in many staff assignments during his career, including six times as Chief of Staff for units with areas of responsibility ranging from Germany, to Korea, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Persian Gulf, the Horn of Africa and within the continental United States.

Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Louisiana State University, and a Master of Military Art and Science degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He has also attended a wide variety of military schools, culminating with his graduation from the Army War College in 1991.

Campbell's military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (third oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (fifth oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Special Forces tab, and the Parachutist Badge.