FORT RUCKER, Ala.(June 29, 2017) - Brig. Gen. David J. Francis became 29th commander of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center and director of Army Safety during a ceremony June 28 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum on Fort Rucker, Alabama.

No stranger to the Wiregrass area Francis, who previously served as the deputy commander for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence from 2014 to 2016, assumed command from Brig Gen. Jeffrey A. Farnsworth, who has served as commanding general since August 2014.

Lt. Gen. Gary H. Cheek, director of the Army Staff, presided over the event.

"The trends for our safety record are remarkably low," Cheek said. "For 12 straight years, the accident rates for the United States Army continue to decrease. Jeff is an enormously innovative leader. He knows how to lead an organization through change and can do it in a positive way. I've always been impressed by his ability to build relationships both at the strategic level and with the many commands across the Army."

Francis most recently served as deputy commanding general (support), 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea.

"Jeff, you've done a phenomenal job and set the conditions for future efforts to help us with this most sacred mission of protecting our Soldiers and equipment and, therefore, the readiness of the U.S. Army," Francis said. "Thank you for what you've done. You've certainly left us in perfect position to go forward."

Francis added, "Jodie and I are thrilled to be here and to be back in the Wiregrass, working with our local partners including USAACE. Mostly, to the Soldiers and civilians of the Combat Readiness Center, we are excited to be part of an incredible team."

Francis is a native of Pennsylvania and received his commission from Gannon University in Erie.