U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, outgoing commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, passes the Division colors to Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commanding general of the XVII Airborne Corps, symbolizing the relinquishment of command during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Aguto led the Division through Hurricane Dorian impacts, the global COVID-19 pandemic and multiple subordinate units’ deployments to U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Europe, and Pacific. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment)
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, outgoing commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, passes the Division colors to Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commanding general of the XVII Airborne Corps, symbolizing the relinquishment of command during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Aguto led the Division through Hurricane Dorian impacts, the global COVID-19 pandemic and multiple subordinate units’ deployments to U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Europe, and Pacific. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. – Soldiers, Family members, and friends of the 3rd Infantry Division gathered on Cottrell Field, Fort Stewart, Georgia to witness the Division change of command on June 21. Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, Jr. relinquished command of the Marne Division to Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza after 24 months in command.

Costanza returns to the Division after commanding the now-deactivated 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, on Fort Benning, Georgia, from 2013 to 2015.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commanding general of the XVII Airborne Corps, passes the 3rd Infantry Division colors to Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, incoming commander, during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Passing the unit colors is symbolic of the transfer of responsibility and command. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment)
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commanding general of the XVII Airborne Corps, passes the 3rd Infantry Division colors to Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza, incoming commander, during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Passing the unit colors is symbolic of the transfer of responsibility and command. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

The presiding officer for the ceremony was Lt. Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. He shared his personal thoughts of the two commanders, as well as the milestones the Division had encountered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helicopters belonging to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division fly over the division’s change of command ceremony at Fort Stewart, Georgia, June 21. At the ceremony, the Soldiers of the 3rd ID said goodbye to Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto and welcomed Maj. Gen. Charles Costanza as the new division commander. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew McNeil / 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division)
Helicopters belonging to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division fly over the division’s change of command ceremony at Fort Stewart, Georgia, June 21. At the ceremony, the Soldiers of the 3rd ID said goodbye to Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto and welcomed Maj. Gen. Charles Costanza as the new division commander. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Andrew McNeil / 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Andrew McNeil) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The Dogface Soldiers were not stopped by COVID,” said Kurilla. “Gunnery continued. Schools remained open. Scheduled Combined Training Center rotations were supported. 2020 was a defining moment. You all met that moment.”

Kurilla thanked Aguto and his wife, Melanie, for their service to the 3rd ID Soldiers, Families and the community. Under Aguto’s command, the Marne Division provided support through Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19, all while balancing planned mission requirements and training.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, right, gives his final remarks as 3rd Infantry Division commander during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, center, commanding general of the XVIII Corps, presided over the ceremony. Aguto relinquished command to the incoming, 3rd Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment)
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto, right, gives his final remarks as 3rd Infantry Division commander during a Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, center, commanding general of the XVIII Corps, presided over the ceremony. Aguto relinquished command to the incoming, 3rd Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

“What an unprecedented time it’s been these last couple of years,” said Aguto. “I don’t think I have to say the word COVID-19 to understand what it meant to all of us. I don’t think I have to say things like hurricanes or deployments… Sometimes the hardest decisions we have to make are those not covered by doctrine. ”

Aguto went on to reflect on how proud he was of how the Soldiers, Families and community leadership came together to overcome these nontraditional adversities as a whole, from Hinesville to Savannah.

The U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division Band plays the national anthem during a Division Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto relinquished command of the 3rd ID to Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza at Cottrell Field, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Aguto led the Division through Hurricane Dorian impacts, the global COVID-19 pandemic and multiple subordinate units’ deployments to U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Europe, and Pacific.  (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment)
The U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division Band plays the national anthem during a Division Change of Command Ceremony, June 21, 2021. Maj. Gen. Antonio A. Aguto relinquished command of the 3rd ID to Maj. Gen. Charles D. Costanza at Cottrell Field, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Aguto led the Division through Hurricane Dorian impacts, the global COVID-19 pandemic and multiple subordinate units’ deployments to U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Europe, and Pacific. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

The passing of the Division’s colors from Aguto to Costanza symbolized a new chapter in the Division’s history. Costanza shared his excitement to return as a 3rd ID Soldier and lead the Division.

“For everyone out on the parade field, all the Families and civilians, thank you for your service,” said Costanza. “I look forward to having the opportunity to serve with you and I think that’s an important way to phrase it.”