FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – Troopers, leaders, and families of the 1st Cavalry Division bid farewell to Brig. Gen. Steve Carpenter during a ceremony at Fort Cavazos, Texas on May 24.
“Farewells are tough; they’re even more difficult when you say farewell to an essential member of the team who flat out made it better every day,” said Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general. “While today is an emotional day, it is also a day to celebrate the many contributions the Carpenter family has made to this organization.”
While serving as the deputy commanding general for the last two years, Carpenter guided the brigades of the First Team in a no-notice deployment to deter Russian aggression, participated in training rotations at the National Training Center, and many command post exercises.
Richardson said that Carpenter was pivotal in moving the division forward by leading a joint multinational training effort for Project Convergence ‘22, facilitating two brigade validation exercises, and helping the division excel through a multinational corps warfighting exercise.
For his pursuit of excellence and dedication to the 1st Cavalry Division, Carpenter was presented with the Legion of Merit, an award given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.
“My favorite part of this profession is building and contributing towards high performing and cohesive teams who are willing to put in the work to prepare to win and helping Troopers and their families achieve personal and professional goals,” said Carpenter. “The Carpenters are honored to have stood here a part of the 1st Cavalry Division at this moment in its rich 101-year history.”
In addition to saying goodbye to Carpenter, a retreat ceremony was jointly conducted. A retreat ceremony is one of the oldest lasting Army traditions.
Standing either respectfully or rendering a salute, all Army installations play the bugle call known as ‘Retreat’ every day promptly at 5 p.m. At that time, Soldiers and civilians on post grow silent and face towards the flagpole to watch the American flag slowly lower, signifying the end of the duty day, while paying respects to the nation’s flag.
Conjoining the retreat ceremony with Carpenter’s farewell, allows Troopers and family to honor the principles in which the nation's flag stands for and to take pride in the experience of enduring patriotic traditions of the U.S. Army.
Carpenter and his family will continue their time with the Army in Grafenwoehr, Germany, where he will assume command of the 7th Army Training Command, a unit that resources the training readiness for all of U.S. Army Europe and Africa.
“On behalf of the division, myself and the Troopers here and abroad, I want to thank you for your selfless dedication to the First Team,” said Richardson. “Thank you for supporting our Troopers and their families through your volunteering, through your dedicated time.”