FORT MONROE, Va. (Dec. 8, 2008) -- Gen. Martin E. Dempsey assumed command Monday from Gen. William S. Wallace at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters on Fort Monroe.

"General Marty Dempsey -- with his experience commanding U.S. troops in Baghdad, overseeing the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces and his leadership of CENTCOM -- is uniquely suited to the helm of this organization at this critical time," said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates during the TRADOC change-of-command ceremony at Fort Monroe's Continental Park.

Dempsey, an armor officer commissioned in 1974 at West Point, most recently served as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. During the period from March to October 2008, he served as CENTCOM's acting commander. He holds advanced degrees from the National Defense University, the Command and General Staff College and Duke University. A scholar and teacher alike, Dempsey also taught as an instructor and assistant professor in the English department at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

"On Saturday morning, as I watched them practice under the watchful eye of [Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Bruner], I recall being tutored by my mentors," said Dempsey. "It's not practice that makes perfect; rather, it's perfect practice that makes perfect. It is, after all, the seemingly small disciplines and commitment to high standards that makes us who we are and binds us together as a force, an Army, in peace and in war. That's what we're committed to at TRADOC."

Dempsey also served in Operation Desert Shield and as commanding general of the 1st Armored Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2005. He led the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and commander of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq from 2005 to 2007.

"From my experience in the past seven years at Central Command, I know that TRADOC's support to our Army's operational support has been simply flawless," said Dempsey. "Moreover, I've seen the intellectual energy that TRADOC has provided to the Army and the Joint community as we seek to balance current and future requirements. That work must continue."

Dempsey replaced Wallace, who retired with 39 years of active service. He was TRADOC's commander since October 2005. A 1969 graduate of West Point and an armor officer, Wallace served as an adviser in the Bac Lieu Province during the Vietnam War. Wallace led the U.S. ground troops in Iraq as commanding general of V Corps in 2003. Before arriving at TRADOC headquarters, Wallace was commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, one of TRADOC's major subordinate commands.

During Wallace's tenure, TRADOC strengthened doctrine by releasing FM 3-0, Operations; FM 3-07, Stability Operations; and will release FM 7-0, Training for Full Spectrum Operations, Dec 16.

Referring to Gen. William E. DePuy, who served as TRADOC's first commander in 1973 and who helped lead the Army from the Vietnam era, Gen. George W. Casey, Army chief of staff, said, "[Wallace] is the DePuy of this generation."

Casey highlighted one of DePuy's most significant contributions to the training, design and organization of the Army: the development of FM 100-5, Operations, the first operations manual for the Army.

"With all this talk about Scott, it is important to remember he is only one half of this great command team, and not necessarily the better half," said Casey. Sharon Wallace was the first recipient of the Margaret C. Corbin Award, the highest honor for a TRADOC spouse.

"Sharon has been serving alongside Scott since the Fort Bragg days," said Casey. "She has been a family readiness group leader on multiple levels and a dedicated supporter of military communities across the United States and Germany."

Founded in 1973, TRADOC's mission is to recruit and develop Soldiers, both technically and as leaders throughout their Army careers. This includes doctrine development, setting standards for the Army and preparing the Army for the future. TRADOC has more than 50,000 uniformed and civilian employees at the 32 schools on 16 installations that host its programs.

Other guests of honor attending the Dec. 8 ceremony included Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Honorable Pete Geren, secretary of the Army; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

"The scope and scale of what TRADOC does for our Soldiers and Army is phenomenal," said Casey. "From recruiting to basic training to 32 schools spread across 16 installations teaching more than 3,000 courses to half a million Soldiers every year... make no mistake about it, TRADOC is the architect of the Army."