FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 10, 2009) -- The Army component of U.S. Southern Command marked a new chapter in its storied history as the former special assistant to the commanding general of U.S. Army Special Operations Command took over U.S. Army South during a ceremony at the Fort Sam Houston Club, Nov. 9.
Army Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas succeeded Army Maj. Gen. Keith M. Huber who was subsequently promoted to lieutenant general and will serve as the deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.
The continuing mission of U.S. Army South is to provide and sustain trained and ready Army forces for the full spectrum of military operations in the area of focus that includes the Caribbean and all of Central and South America. Operations range from training partner armies to supporting peacekeeping initiatives and fighting the narcotics trade and terrorism.
Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, commanding officer of U.S. Southern Command, presided over the ceremony and lauded the accomplishments of U.S. Army South during Huber's tenure.
"Under [Huber's] engaged and focused leadership, Army South has played a vital role for Southern Command and for our nation," said Fraser. "[Huber] leaves behind a truly great legacy."
Before leaving, Huber thanked the Army South team "for allowing me to serve with you." He praised their ability to successfully accomplish Army South's dynamic mission and their "willingness to change the organization and to accept the reality that every day changes."
Huber said he has "no doubt that I leave Army South in the very capable and caring hands of [Trombitas]."
Addressing his team for the first time as the U.S. Army South commander, Trombitas held that "it is a privilege to take this command and be entrusted with the responsibility for [it]. Army South has a rich history and tradition and I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to command this fine organization. To the Soldiers, civilians and families of U.S. Army South I will give 110 percent every day to maintain the great reputation of this unit."
A native of Warren, Ohio, Trombitas' general-officer assignments include commanding general of Special Operations Command, Korea, and the Iraq National Counter-Terrorism Force Transition Team during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He also served over eight years and three tours in the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a detachment commander, company commander, battalion operations officer, executive officer and battalion commanding officer.
His joint assignments include aide de camp for the commanding general, Southern Command in Panama; deputy director of operations with Special Operations Command in Panama; commander, U.S. Military Group in Colombia and Regional Special Operations Division in Washington, D.C., and as the garrison commander for the 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colo.
He received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Infantry from the U.S. Military Academy in 1978. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Armor Officer Advanced Course, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Armed Forces Staff College. He also earned a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
Trombitas is married to the former Kellie Snyder and has two children: Paul and Simeon.