FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (April 23, 2009) - Col. Paul E. Funk II officially became deputy commander of the Combined Arms Center-Training at an assumption of responsibility ceremony April 17.

Funk takes the place of Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, who left Fort Leavenworth to command the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

CAC-T is the organization responsible for the training of Soldiers. Its branches include the Battle Command Training Program, the National Simulation Center, the Combat Training Center Directorate and many other training organizations. On May 1, that list will grow to include the Army Training Support Center which is moving to CAC from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, said that CAC-T's activities are critical to Soldier readiness.

In quoting TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Bruner, Caldwell said that CAC-T "sharpens the tip of the spear."

Caldwell also praised CAC-T Deputy Director Dennis Tighe, who was interim leader of the organization.

"Thank you very much for what you have done for continuing to move CAC-T forward," he said to Tighe.

Caldwell said Funk was chosen by merit and reputation.

"You are the right thing to continue and follow up with what Abe Abrams has done for 18 months," he said.

Funk has served the Army since 1984. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, holds a bachelor's degree in speech communications from Montana State University and a master's in administration from Central Michigan University. One of Funk's recent positions was commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. During Funk's command, the brigade deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2008. They were responsible for more than 375 square miles northwest of Baghdad, which transitioned from security force oversight to local governance. Funk relinquished command in 2008.

"Paul was carrying a heavy load at the 1st Brigade," Caldwell said. "You absolutely bring an incredible amount of experience with you."

Caldwell said that during April, the Month of the Military Child, it's important to note how CAC-T contributes to the safety of Soldiers who are also parents. He said 1.7 million American children under 18 years old have a parent serving in the armed forces and 900,000 have had a deployed parent.

Funk said he and his family were pleased about coming to Fort Leavenworth and thanked some of his former military leaders in the audience.

"Any success I've ever had is due to Soldiers like those," he said. "They're the reason I continue to serve."

Funk mentioned two recent successes for CAC-T include involvement in Army doctrine and the organization of a program for Virtual Battle Space-2, or VBS2, in use for training.

"We still have a long road ahead of us in transitioning and training the force," he said.