Under the attentive eye of hundreds of service members in formation on Gammon Field and guests, Brig. Gen. Kent Savre took command of the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood from Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith Tuesday.
The reviewing officer for the morning ceremony was Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth commanding general.
"General Savre has amazing operational assignments and experience. He goes way back to Desert Storm and Desert Shield," Brown said. "He proved a long time ago his investment in the Army."
Savre said it was an incredible day to be in the heart of the nation with the amazing warriors and leaders on the parade field.
"You represent the very best of America and make me so very proud to be in your presence," Savre said.
He said he is honored to be a part of the Training and Doctrine Command team and is looking forward to serving at historic Fort Leonard Wood.
"I would like to ask all of you to remember those service members and civilians deployed in harm's way. Right now, in the most dangerous and critically important locations across the globe, maneuver commanders are executing extremely complex missions in support of our nation's interests. In every case, at the heart of those missions, is a warrior or leader who was trained right here in the heart of America -- Fort Leonard Wood," Savre said.
"There is a chemical Soldier fighting Ebola in West Africa, a military policeman standing guard over detainees at Guantanamo Bay, an engineer assisting the Afghan Army with route-clearance operations. It all started here," he added.
He said there is no place on earth he would rather be than Fort Leonard Wood.
"It is my honor and privilege to serve on your team," Savre said.
Before coming to Fort Leonard Wood, Savre was the commanding general and division engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division.
The North Atlantic Division is one of nine regions providing engineering and construction services to the nation. It is the Corps' headquarters for the Northeastern United States, Europe and Africa, with offices in Concord, Massachusetts; New York City; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Norfolk, Virginia; and Wiesbaden, Germany.
Before becoming the commander of the North Atlantic Division, Savre served as director of the Office of the Chief of Engineers in the Pentagon. He has also served as the U.S. Forces-Iraq Theater Engineer Brigade commander in Iraq, commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, and director of the Counter Explosive Hazards Center at Fort Leonard Wood.
Savre is a native of Edina, Minnesota, and was commissioned an engineer officer in 1985 upon graduation from Officer Candidate School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in construction from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a masters in construction management from Arizona State University and a masters in strategic studies from the Army War College. He is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
Smith, who has been commander since June 2013, said Fort Leonard Wood has done a great job developing leaders.
"The nation trusts us to train their sons and daughters. Thanks to all of you, we can do that. The command team is full of great folks; they have done an outstanding job and made my life a lot easier. I am confident that our team has prepared the Savres, and they are ready to continue the work," he added.
Fort Leonard Wood GUIDON newspaper