By USAREUR Public AffairsSeptember 17, 2006
HEIDELBERG, Germany - Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez relinquished command of V Corps during ceremonies held here at Campbell Barracks, held Sept. 6.Sanchez, who has commanded V Corps since June 14, 2003, will depart Germany for the United States this week in preparation for his retirement later this year.During the ceremony the general passed the V Corps colors to Gen. David D. McKiernan, commander of U.S. Army, Europe, in the Army's traditional symbolic gesture of passing of command. In his remarks following the flag passing, McKiernan said Sanchez's legacy is assured. "Victory Corps has a long and distinguished linage of past commanders," McKiernan said. "Today we add another name to that list."Speaking to Sanchez as the 33-year veteran stood for the last time in front of representatives from 13 subordinate units he commanded during his tenure, McKiernan recalled the general's leadership of the 1st Armored Division, V Corps and Combined Joint Task Force-7 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The USAREUR commander told Sanchez, a Bronze Star awardee, that his strategic, operational and tactical "savvy" saved countless American lives in combat.As the first commanding general of Multi-National Force - Iraq, one of two organizations formed upon the inactivation of CJTF-7, Sanchez developed a team "that has had a lasting impact on millions of Iraqi citizens," McKiernan said. "Your dedication, leadership and perseverance have paid off."Also noting Sanchez's years of duty in Europe, McKiernan said his strong relations with "our allies set the stage for future transformation of this magnificent corps in coming years while we maintain partnerships with our neighbors."Addressing members of the V Corps, Sanchez expressed his thanks for their service during his 39 months as their commander. "Generals succeed because of the sacrifices made by Soldiers," he said. "This general is no different."Sanchez's final advice to his Soldiers was to take their guidance from the Army's Warrior Ethos and to lead guided by the values instilled in all Soldiers."Do what is right," he said. "Take the high ground."With Sanchez relinquishing command, Maj. Gen. Doug Robinson, commander of 1st Armored Division, became acting V Corps commander.