JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wa - The ground-quaking sound of cannon fire echoed across Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., heralding the arrival of I Corps' newest deputy commanding general Oct. 12.
About 250 leaders, service members and family members along with a formation of unit guidons and America's I Corps Band gathered in front of the I Corps Headquarters building to pay a hearty, if slightly delayed, welcome to Maj. Gen. William H. Graham.
Graham arrived at JBLM in August, but his welcome ceremony was delayed because of mission requirements and training exercises.
"It's taken me 30 years to get to this storied corps and much desired base," said Graham. "But it was absolutely worth the wait."
The ceremony was officiated by I Corps Commanding General Gary J. Volesky who welcomed Graham to America's I Corps while praising his abilities as a leader.
"Sustaining the force is a major effort for the corps," said Volesky. "A task that requires a major general of [Graham's] caliber, to ensure we have what we need in order to deploy, fight and win."
The deputy commanding general is second in command and is responsible for the management of day-to-day activities such as administration, maintenance and logistics. The deputy commanding general takes charge in the absence of the commanding general.
Graham takes up the post vacated by former I Corps DCG Jeffrey L. Milhorn, who left I Corps in July to take command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division. He traded places with Graham, who commanded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division.
"At JBLM it's easy to see why this place is one of the most sought after bases in the Army and Air Force," said Graham. "You only have to be on post for a short period of time before it becomes clear that the garrison team is staffed with caring professionals who are utterly dedicated to providing the best possible environment for Soldiers, Airmen and families to live and work. My thanks to you all, Janet and I are absolutely delighted to now call this area home."