FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 19, 2018) -- The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony March 19 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Maj. Gen. Gary M. Brito received the MCoE and Fort Benning colors, signifying his assumption of command, from Maj. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, the outgoing MCoE commander.

"In this historic moment, during the centennial year, we -- all of us as a team -- will continue to execute all that Fort Benning is well known for," said Brito. "That is training Soldiers, developing leaders and forging our future Army. And also being the premier installation of our tenant organizations. As a team, we will serve as a place of innovation for the Army, both now and into the future, just as Fort Benning did 100 years ago."

Brito's most recent assignment was as commanding general of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was also the deputy commanding general (Support) and (Operations) for the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and the director of Force 2025 and Beyond Directorate for Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

Brito was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in March 1987 through the ROTC at Pennsylvania State University in State College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning. He also holds a Master of Science in Human Resources from Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and a Master of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

"The Army is the decisive effort of our nation," said Brito. "We are obligated to produce the very best maneuver force possible while maintaining a safe and supportive installation for all of our Soldiers and our Families."

His command here is not the first time Brito was assigned to Fort Benning. From 1990 to 1995, he was a student in the Infantry Officer Advanced Course; an instructor for the Officer Candidate School; a commander of E Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment; and an instructor for Tactics Division, 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment. From 2003 to 2004 he was chief of the Office of Infantry Proponency, and from 2004 to 2006 he was commander of 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

"I know firsthand the importance of the foundational skills that we need to give young Soldiers when they enter the Army and of sharpening the razor-sharp skills of leaders who will lead our Soldiers in the Army," said Brito. "And we do that right here."

Brito also spoke of Wesley and his Family's aid to him and his Family.

"Sir, thanks for a great transition, and opening the doors of Fort Benning, both before arrival and after arrival," said Brito.

Wesley became the commanding general of MCoE and Fort Benning in March 2016. During his remarks to the audience, he thanked the Soldiers who contributed to the training mission the Maneuver Center of Excellence undertakes.

"So to those fine men and women, I personally want to thank you for your commitment, for your work, your willingness, your role in preserving our way of life and our Army," said Wesley.

Wesley will receive a third star and is assigned as the deputy commanding general, Futures / director, for the Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning provides trained and combat-ready Soldiers and leaders; develops the doctrine and capabilities of the Maneuver Force and individual Soldier; and provides a world-class quality of life for Soldiers, civilians, and Army families to ensure the Army's Maneuver Force remains the world's premier combat force ready to "Win in a Complex World." Fort Benning is the center of gravity in the Army for producing trained combat Soldiers and is the primary driver for development of the future force.