FORT SILL, Oklahoma (June 25, 2021) -- Col. David Norris is the new commander of the 75th Field Artillery Brigade, but he is not new to the brigade.
As a second lieutenant his first assignment was in the 75th FAB, and as a young captain he deployed with the “Diamond Brigade” to Iraq.
“It’s like coming home; both our kids were born here,” Norris said. “For our family, Lawton Fort Sill is where it all started, so it’s a real honor to come back and join the team again.”
Norris assumed command of the 75th FAB from Col. Ryan McCormack during a change of command ceremony June 25, at Old Post Quadrangle. McCormack moves on to 3rd Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he will be chief of staff. Norris most recently commanded the 4th Battalion (Field Artillery), 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Before the change of command, McCormack was presented the Legion of Merit Medal. His wife, Erin, was awarded the Army Meritorious Public Service Medal for her community work.
Change of command
In his remarks, Maj. Gen. John Richardson IV, III Armored Corps and Fort Hood (Texas) deputy commanding general, said he saw the lethality of the 75th FAB at the recent Warfighter Exercise 21-4. It was the largest multinational exercise in the history of the U.S. Army.
“You all provided the decisive element of combat power in our epic battle against our simulated enemy,” Richardson said. “To see the artillery in action was awe inspiring.”
Richardson described McCormack as the best artilleryman that he has met, who is an expert in the employment of Army and joint fires, a master of the fundamentals, and unflappable under pressure.
The general recounted an early meeting with McCormack who told him, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by people.”
The environment of the brigade established and fostered by McCormack and Command Sgt. Maj. John Black, was based on trust and respect.
“The end result is a team that is truly ready to fight and win at the point of contact,” Richardson said. “In essence, the Diamond Brigade was ‘People First’ before it became the No. 1 priority in the Army.”
Under McCormack, the establishment of the Diamond Leader Academy operationalized leader certification, Richardson said. “They truly and robustly invest in their junior leaders, and Soldiers and families get the return on that investment tenfold.”
Richardson then thanked Erin McCormack for all that she did to support the brigade.
Continuing, the general welcomed the Norrises.
What isn’t in Norris’ bio is his passion for leadership and his passion for Soldiers, Richardson said. “I have no doubt that Dave is up to the task and prepared to continue the Diamond Brigade’s tradition of excellence.”
McCormack began by thanking numerous individuals by name.
“I personally want to thank my fellow commanders both here and at Fort Hood for the crosstalk, and sharing successes and setbacks within our formations,” he said. “This camaraderie is priceless as we all navigate the challenges and opportunities of leading and serving our Soldiers.”
The 75th FAB’s numerous accomplishments during the past two years had little to do with him, McCormack said. “It has to do with the great team of teams within this brigade, here at Fort Sill, and down at Fort Hood."
He highlighted the brigade’s efforts to develop and certify its leaders. That’s a testament to the leaders in the brigade and command teams who helped forge a vision of purpose by actively demonstrating values to establish a culture of trust, he said.
McCormack proceeded to name over a dozen of his leaders, “who all made my job easy, and quite honestly, enjoyable.” He then thanked his family, and welcomed the Norrises.
Concluding, McCormack said: “This is not farewell, it’s until next time.”
Norris thanked the McCormacks for their hospitality, and he acknowledged all the units on the parade field.
“This opportunity to return to Fort Sill, and to rejoin the Diamond Brigade team is the privilege of my career and an honor that truly humbles me and warms my heart,” said Norris.
Norris also thanked his family. “Carla, Anna, and Jack, it’s not always easy and it’s not always fun, but we always do it together. Thank you for having my back.”