FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Roughly 186 years after the Black Cavalry unit, now known as the Buffalo Soldiers, were first formed at Fort Leavenworth, the installation welcomed its first African American commanding general.
The great-grandson of a World War I veteran, Lt. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr. took command of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth from Lt. Gen. Theodore Martin, who retired after almost 40 years of service.
During the ceremony, Training and Doctrine Command Commanding General Gen. Gary Brito addressed the achievements of Martin and Beagle, wishing them well in their transitions. He underscored each leader’s role in CAC’s mission to train and develop leaders for the future of the Army.
Brito said Martin took command in a COVID environment with three clear orders: take care of people, drive change and develop leaders to build the Army of 2030.
“Make no mistake that Ted Martin and his leadership of the CAC team has already been driving change throughout training, leader development and education programs at all levels inside the Centers of Excellence, all 10 of them and more,” Brito said.
He credited Martin with creating initiatives including career-long life assessments across all ranks and centers, the modernization of professional military education, the implementation of distributed learning still in use and modernization overall.
“Our Army continues to get better because of the lessons we learn, the lessons we captured under tense leadership of a diverse and complex mission to include some of the operations in Ukraine today. We continue to capture those lessons, feed them into the combat readiness of our Army and make it better,” Brito said.
“As many of you know, if we do not stay up with the adversary, if we do not offer the overmatch that we need in our Army, if we do not develop the leaders that we need for our Army modernization, we will always be behind. We are not — we're ahead of (our adversaries) because of Ted's steadfast leadership, preparing your Army across the broad spectrum of future challenges — some known and some unknown.”
During his remarks, Martin thanked special guests and friends for their attendance and explained how it was difficult to give up command as he listed colleagues who influenced his time at CAC.
“I'm just telling you, when you work for awesome leaders — leaders of character — it’s easy to do any mission that they give you.”
Martin praised his team at CAC for their commitment and work alongside him.
“I had a team of champions, and I'll be forever in your debt with the hard work and dedicated efforts you’ve given, not just to me here at the Combined Arms Center, but for your Army.”
Martin welcomed Beagle and his family back to Fort Leavenworth and noted that he’s seen Beagle’s drive for readiness during past conflicts.
Brito also welcomed Beagle and his family back to CAC.
“There was no one, no one better to assume the responsibilities of CAC and Fort Leavenworth and by extension, all the work that Centers of Excellence will do from coast to coast. Your experiences, ‘Beags,’ in both the operational and generating forces, make you exactly the type of leader and command team to continue this momentum,” Brito said. “I have every confidence, and I know that both (you and wife Pamela) will bring the same energy and focus on soldiers and families here at CAC and over the course of all of your assignments, just as you've always done. We are thrilled to have you back on the TRADOC team.”
During his remarks, Beagle thanked his family, friends and guests attending the ceremony. He congratulated Martin on his career and said he appreciated his professionalism in the transition.
“If you ever ask someone if they are where they thought they would be in their life and they tell you ‘yes,’ tell them to show you the roadmap. Because if anybody asked me if I would ever be the commander of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, my answer would have been an unequivocal ‘no,’ and there are many people that would have agreed with me — but nonetheless, I'm here,” Beagle said.
He described Fort Leavenworth as a driver of change for decades in facets from critical thinking to diversification.
“To say that it is an honor and a privilege to command this installation and (CAC) is an understatement,” Beagle said.
He said the Army is at an inflection point at which all action is fundamentally different, but that is where CAC does its best work. He underscored the importance of thinking through complex problems and thanked those in attendance for their commitment.
“Here at Fort Leavenworth we have many, many great minds, but we have one goal: to drive change. With this change we will win our nation's wars, which is what we are expected to do. Nobody will ever ask us, ‘Were we ready?’. That's what our nation expects, and that's what we will deliver; we will deliver on that promise.”
To read more about Beagle’s career, visit https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/bios/LTGBeagleBIOFinal.pdf