FORT BRAGG, N.C. − Soldiers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said farewell to Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette, USASOC commanding general, and welcomed Lt. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga during a change of command ceremony at Meadows Field, August 13, 2021.
General Richard D. Clarke, commanding general of U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida, officiated the ceremony, but deferred honors to Lt. Gen. Beaudette due to his years of dedicated service.
“Fran Beaudette’s constantly reminds me of what USASOC does for the SOCOM enterprise”, says Clarke. “Fran you know the operational impact and met that with a sincere focus on people your entire command.”
Beaudette relinquished command after three years as the commanding general of the prestigious unit. He thanked those in attendance and highlighted several people and motivations that had a dynamic impact on his career and life.
Beaudette also took time to thank the Soldiers under his command and sighted them as the reason he went to work every day. Beaudette said he's had the opportunity to serve the Nation, alongside its finest sons and daughters, and uphold the ideals embodied in the constitution.
“The men and women who make up these commands, who put it all on the line to be part of something big, to serve the Nation. Always with the ultimate skin in the game. No one is ready to assume more risk than you. Thank you for raising your hand”, says Beaudette.
During the ceremony, Beaudette also retired from the Army after 32 years of service.
“Although many days have been anything but easy, I wouldn’t trade it for the world”, says Beaudette.
Beaudette congratulated Braga and his family on taking command of USASOC, adding "Team Braga, you’re the perfect family at the perfect time and place. You are going to be great for this command."
In the same ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Marc W. Eckard changed responsibility with Command Sgt. Maj. Michael R. Weimer.
In lieu of the traditional gift of flowers, Lieutenant General Beaudette and Command Sgt. Maj. Eckard donated to the Special Operations Warrior Fund on behalf of Mrs. Beaudette and Mrs. Eckard.
Likewise, Lt. Gen. Braga and Command Sergeant Major Weimer made a donation to the Special Operations Warrior Fund on behalf of Mrs. Braga and Mrs. Weimer.
Braga is taking command following an assignment as the deputy commander, U.S. Army Pacific Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.