By Mr. Mike Bowers (Leonard Wood)June 25, 2015
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 25, 2015) -- The U.S. Army Engineer School's 96th commandant comes to Fort Leonard Wood from the Pentagon where he was director, Office of the Chief of Engineers.
Col. James Raymer replaced Brig. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser as the Chief of Engineers at a change-of-commandancy ceremony held Friday in Nutter Field House.
Funkhouser, who recently received notification of promotion to major general, will assume duties as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, Fort Eustis, Virginia.
"I want to focus my comments today, not on me, but on what our team accomplished," Funkhouser said. "We were able to accomplish a great deal, and I attribute it all to our team of professionals consistently dedicated to the mission."
Among those accomplishments Funkhouser mentioned:
-- Brigade Engineer Battalion implementation. "We didn't just watch the activations, we educated senior leaders on the capabilities and we helped retrain the force."
-- Soldier 2020. "We developed a plan to set the conditions for the future female 12Bs and helped develop the physical demand standards for the combat MOS (military occupational specialty). We should see our first female 12B accessions training at Fort Leonard Wood soon."
-- One Army School System. "We were the first in TRADOC to truly go to One Army School System, when we had the National Guard host the first NG and Army Reserve Engineer Captains Career Course outside of TRADOC."
-- Credentialing program. "We expanded our chief warrant officer and noncommissioned officer credentialing program."
"We have an extremely high quality of leaders who work here and make so many things happen with the limited resources available. We always seemed to find a way to get it done, and I thank you all," Funkhouser said.
Raymer takes over the engineer school that annually trains approximately 18,000 Soldiers, NCOs, warrant officers and officers.
"I acknowledge all my friends out in the crowd, although I have never been permanent change of station here," Raymer said. "Many of you I have known since I made my first trip here in 1991 to attend the Sapper Leader Course."
He said his connection with others in the audience was from his service in various engineer battalions, divisions, engineer brigades and commands.
"Thank you all for the little things that you did to help me get here today," Raymer concluded. "I look forward to moving ahead with Command Sgt. Maj. (Bradley) Houston in keeping up the traditions of the school and the Engineer Regiment."
Raymer is a member of the U.S. Military Academy Class of 1989 and began his career in the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
His assignment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, included a deployment to Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti in 1994.
He has deployed three times to Iraq; with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in 2004, the 1169th Engineer Group in 2006 and with the 1st Cavalry Division in 2008. Raymer deployed to Afghanistan in June 2011 and upon returning was commander of the 20th Engineer Brigade.
He has earned the Combat Action, Master Parachutist, Pathfinder and Air Assault badges. He also wears the Ranger and Sapper tabs.
"We're fortunate to welcome the next team . . . the Army keeps rolling along," said Brig. Gen. Kent Savre, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general.
"New leaders step up. There is none finer than Col. James Raymer to continue the momentum and to lead the engineer school further into the future," Savre added. "He's exceptionally qualified to take this command. I have full confidence and trust in his abilities as an engineer and leader of Soldiers. The Army has picked the right leader for the regiment."