FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Gen. Robert B. Abrams took charge of the Army's largest command, Aug. 10, Monday, as his predecessor, Gen. Mark A. Milley, relinquished the U.S. Army Forces Command colors and departed for duty in Washington, D.C., to become the 39th chief of staff of the Army.
By accepting the colors bearing the distinctive blue, white and red disk that makes up the U.S. Army Forces Command insignia, Abrams became the 22nd commanding general of FORSCOM.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno noted that Abrams is the fifth commanding general to lead FORSCOM since he's been the Army's chief of staff, "but the good news is they all seem to go on to bigger and better things."
"Mark, you're an incredibly gifted officer … you have the complete confidence of our leadership and I know that many challenges await you in the Pentagon that will require patience, candor, team building, and a thorough knowledge of the joint and organizational environment, the multi-national world that we live in today. Those challenges will require strong, but balanced leadership of character. So I'm incredibly confident of everything I've seen of Mark Milley over the last 20 years that we have the right man for the job," Odierno said.
Abrams' most recent assignment was as the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.
"I have complete confidence in Abe (Abrams) that he's going to run with this command and take it to new heights, and in doing so, he's going to prepare our Army for probably one of the most difficult missions we have, which is the unknown, the unpredictable," said Odierno.
He's going to help us to continue to develop our most important asset, which is our leaders -- our noncommissioned officers and officers, who will carry this Army forward as we go."
FORSCOM, which prepares conventional forces to provide a sustained flow of trained and ready land power to combatant commanders in defense of the nation at home and abroad, has direct authority over most continental United States-based conventional units of the active Army, and training and readiness oversight of much of the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
In his remarks, Abrams said that he was excited to be in the U.S. Army Forces Command formation.
"FORSCOM's record over the last 14 years have been of meeting requirements, [and has] been nothing short of heroic and frequently awe-inspiring. Readiness is and remains our number one priority. Everything we do supports building and sustain readiness."
"FORSCOM is by design a 'Total Force' command -- Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Active Component. We are one Army, one Army, working together -- shoulder to shoulder to build and sustain highly trained and disciplined Soldiers and formations in accordance with Army standards -- we are expert in our warfighting skills -- ready to deploy and win in ground combat against any enemy.
As the FORSCOM commanding general, Abrams leads FORSCOM's subordinate units, located across the continental United States, which include five headquarters led by lieutenant generals -- U.S. Army Reserve Command, 1st Army, I Corps, III Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps, and nine division headquarters, led by major generals.