Major General John George turned over command of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command and retired from the Army after a 33-year military career that began at the United States Military Academy in a May 7 ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
General John Murray, commanding general of the Army Futures Command, presided over the ceremony that featured both in-person and virtual audiences. John T. Willison, deputy to the commanding general, took over leadership of the command until the arrival of Brig. Gen. Edmond “Miles” Brown, who was recently named the next DEVCOM commander.
“A lot of people think today is a bittersweet day. I would be one of them because I know the quality of the Soldier and the quality of the family the Army is losing today. It is bittersweet for me, from an Army perspective but for many of us out there – the Georges especially and their extended family – this should very much be a day of celebration,” Murray said.
George thanked his family and particularly his wife, Shannon, noting “she has been the greatest teammate and love of my life. She is way more than my better half. ”
“One of life’s greatest gifts is family, either the one you are born into or the one you make yourself, and for that, I am forever grateful,” George said.
He also thanked his teammates from the West Point Class of ’88 who attended the ceremony, as well as the various Soldiers, civilians, Non-Commissioned Officers and leaders who helped shape his military career, including Gen. Murray.
“In my early days as a green and eager officer, several NCOs shaped me into the type of leader the Army and my Soldiers expected me to be,” George said. “Throughout my career I had the honor of serving alongside some of the Army’s very best non-commissioned officers, who truly are the backbone of the Army.”
George graduated from the USMA at West Point in 1988, and he held several command and staff assignments during his Army service. He deployed on numerous Army missions including Operation Joint Guardian (NATO), Kosovo, where he served as Chief of Force Issues and Requirements, and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, as the Chief, Afghanistan National Police Force Management Branch.
George’s tenure with DEVCOM began in November 2019, a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In response to the pandemic, DEVCOM released a future of work concept paper to its more than 27,000 Soldiers, civilians and contractors, embracing remote work, flexible work schedules and innovative hiring practices. The command, which comprises eight reporting units and three regionally aligned international elements, is the Army’s largest technology developer.
“I was proud to join your team 18 months ago. And I am even more proud today to have served alongside each of you,” George said. “Your commitment to giving our warfighters not only what they need, but what they didn’t even know was possible, is unparalleled.”
George received numerous awards during the retirement ceremony, including the Distinguished Service Medal, a certificate of retirement from the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and the Presidential Certificate of Appreciation. He also received a U.S. flag that was flown at West Point, New York, and at DEVCOM headquarters, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. George was also presented the ceremonial last shot fired as a token of appreciation for his time in command.
“It is my hope that I leave the Army better than I found it. That I inspired and encouraged those around me. That I trusted individuals to work their full capacity. That I empowered my teammates to strive for greatness and compassion,” George said.
Looking ahead to his retirement, George said his family will be his main focus.
“I look forward to the time in my retirement that I will be able to spend with my wife, Shannon, with my sons and their families, and our grandson – the first of what we hope are many grandchildren to come.”