FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The XVIII Airborne Corps held a change of command ceremony at the main post flagpole, welcoming a familiar Fort Bragg leader to the helm, Oct. 7, 2019.
Lt. Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla took the reigns as the new commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps following his promotion earlier that morning.
"My vow to the more than 90,000 service members of the XVIII Airborne Corps is that I will lead by example, courage, empathy and honor," Kurilla said. "Readiness will be our number one priority, with the focus on our people. Our best days are ahead of us."
Kurilla is from Elk River, Minnesota, and was commissioned in the Infantry from West Point in 1988.
"We begin another chapter in the rich history of the XVIII Airborne Corps," said Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, who presided over the ceremony. "(Lt.) General Kurilla is the exact and right leader to lead this corps through its next chapter."
Kurilla most recently served as Chief of Staff of U.S. Central Command. Prior to that assignment he was the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Outgoing commander of the XVIII Abn. Corps, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, relinquished command after being at the helm for 21 months of the nation's Contingency Corps - charged with deploying anywhere in the world on short notice.
"It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have a front row seat to some of the most amazing people in the world, in and out of uniform," LaCamera said, "The Corps, our Army and Armed Forces are fortunate to have (Lt.) General Kurilla leading our Soldiers."
LaCamera recently completed a tour as commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. Under XVIII Abn. Corps leadership, CJTF-OIR, the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi Security Forces completed the territorial defeat of Daesh on March 23, 2019.
Also during his command, he led the Corps during a period of high operational tempo, with approximately 9,000 Soldiers serving in 36 countries worldwide in support of the United States.
LaCamera will be promoted to General and assume command of U.S. Army Pacific later this year.
Hundreds of guests were in attendance-to include former corps senior leaders along with senior military leaders from around the globe-to witness the tradition of passing of the colors from the outgoing to the incoming commander. Kurilla takes command of the Corps during its 75th anniversary year as America's Contingency Corps.