By Sgt. Adam Turner, 1st Cav. Div. PAOMarch 30, 2011
FORT HOOD, TEXAS - The 1st Cavalry Division promoted two of its own to the rank of brigadier general, as Colonel (Promotable) James Richardson, of South Carolina, and Spokane, Wash. Native, Col. (Promotable) Gary Volesky, took their oath of office from the 32nd and current Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Peter Chiarelli here on Cooper Field, March, 28; earning them both their first star.
"Today has afforded me an opportunity to promote two great friends, and officers and I am truly looking forward to that moment," Chiarelli added before the ceremony.
"Today is truly a great day, as timely as promotions can be, these two stars come none the sooner with the division preparing for its inaugural Afghanistan deployment later this year."
"With the pinning of the deputy commanders for maneuver and support it is one larger piece in place to another successful 1st Cav. Div. deployment," said 1st Cav. Div. commander, Maj. Gen. Dan Allyn.
"With these two newly pinned one stars, the division not only receives 51 months of combined combat deployments, but senior, engaged leaders who always put Soldiers first and are always where things are the toughest, effecting morale and change. And as rooted in family tradition as the Cav is I could think of none better to uphold and defend those traditions than these two officers who know firsthand what great family support is all about," added Allyn.
"They are the best at what they do, and without a doubt the Army could not have made a better choice, I look forward to serving in combat and alongside both of these fine general officers," concluded Allyn.
Brig. Gen. Volesky, who is no stranger to Central Texas, assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cav. Div. in 2002. He deployed the battalion during Operation Iraqi Freedom II and conducted combat and stability operations inside Sadr City, Iraq from March 2004 to March 2005.
"This is the first time in my career that my extended family has been available to make it out to a promotion ceremony, so I am very thankful for their support today," said Volesky.
"The reason I stand here today is not because of anything I personally have done. To be standing here means that I have learned from the example history provides. I also know that I stand here today ready to lead, and what a better history lesson than the thousands of men and women who have once stood where we stand, preparing for what we are preparing to do in Afghanistan. It is humbling to stand in front of you as your maneuver commander today, but standing here makes me see just how important our success is," Volesky added.
In January of 2001, Brig. Gen. Richardson returned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he assumed command of the 3rd Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He deployed the battalion during Operation Enduring Freedom and conducted combat operations in Afghanistan from March 2002 to Sept. 2002.
"What a privilege it is to serve in the 1st Cavalry Division, here in Central Texas. I am overwhelmed today, I am humbled by the sight of the 1st Cavalry Division Troopers here on Cooper Field, and knowing that you are placing your trust within me is very empowering," Richardson said
These two superb men and now general officers assume their ranks to lead the Soldiers of the 1st Cav. Div. on a successful deployment into Afghanistan, Chiarelli added.
"Richardson and Volesky are a Soldiers' Soldier; they have successfully commanded ground combat forces and have always distinguished themselves above their peers, so with this new rank we ask of you to believe in your Soldiers, your units, your division, and yourselves. Congratulations I have no doubt the Army has made the right decision, there is no doubt you both will continue to lead, added Chiarelli.
"As we prepare to leave for Afghanistan, with the whole world watching, I know without a doubt that it is the former members, the retirees, the troopers out here in formation now, the historic 1st Cavalry Legend, and most importantly our 1st Cavalry Families, and extended Central Texas community that makes us truly America's First Team," Richardson said.