ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- First Army Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, said goodbye to outgoing deputy commanding general of operations, Maj. Gen. James K. "Red" Brown, while welcoming Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington, Jr., during a ceremony here, Thursday.

"To be honest, Red, I'm going to miss your ability to help me energize this complex operation and all your astute advice, observations, capabilities, and keen National Guard experience gained over many years in service to our great nation," Tucker said.

Brown served in his position since June 2014. His next job will be as deputy commanding general for the Army National Guard, U.S. Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Tucker describes Brown's tenure as "significant" in achievements, including planning and execution of the National Guard Commander's Conference earlier this year and developing, planning and conducting the Army's first-ever Multi-echelon Integrated Brigade Training exercise.

Brown said he appreciates the First Army mission referring to his service here as a great learning experience and one of the most satisfying assignments he has had.

"This is a great mission First Army has -- to train the Reserve Components," said Brown. "I believe as we move forward, the importance of what First Army does will be magnified every single week as we continue to mobilize Soldiers and send them into harm's way."

Brown also commented on his experiences in the Quad Cities area.

"The Quad Cities is a phenomenal place to live and work; it has been a very good experience for me and my family," said Brown. "The Quad Cities embraces the military like no other place that I have been in 35 years of service and I want to thank all the folks of the Quad Cities for the support they give to Soldiers every day."

After saying goodbye to Brown, Tucker welcomed Whittington.

"We are truly honored to welcome a true citizen-Soldier leader of Maj. Gen. Whittington's stature. His credentials are impressive and he will be a tremendous value to me and this formation as we continue our critical, transformation under our Bold Shift initiative. Maj. Gen. Whittington has exceptional National Guard experience over his distinguished career and I'm positive he will distinguish himself with grace, professionalism, and superior commitment."

Prior to coming to First Army, Whittington served as Commanding General, 29th Infantry Division, and served as the principle advisor to the Adjutants General of Virginia and Maryland on employment of the division on state and federal missions.

Whittington said he looked forward to helping First Army during an exciting time.

"As a Guardsman who has mobilized on a number of occasions, I have been the benefactor of a relationship with First Army," said Whittington. "I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have the opportunity to pay that back. I am very encouraged to be able to do that and join this great team."

In his civilian career, Whittington is the vice president and chief information officer for the Pactiv Corporation in Lake Forest, Illinois.