By Rachel Parks, III Corps and Fort Hood Public AffairsApril 21, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas, April 21, 2011 -- Soldiers, civilians, family members and Central Texas community leaders congregated at Fort Hood's Sadowski Field, April 21, 2011, to welcome the new III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr.
Campbell assumed command from Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, who led III Corps and Fort Hood for 19 months. Cone is departing Central Texas to take command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, at Fort Monroe, Va.
The reviewing officer for the event, Gen. James Thurman, commanding general of U.S. Forces Command, praised both commanders during his remarks. He focused on the calm, compassionate and steady leadership of Cone, following the events of Nov. 5, 2009, as well as his leadership of III Corps in Iraq.
"We are proud to add his name to the list of the III Corps and Fort Hood commanders that have served before and the legacies they have left behind," Thurman said.
Calling Campbell a proven combat leader, Thurman said the newly promoted lieutenant general understands the needs and requirements of leading a corps at the largest installation in the U.S. Army.
"He will put his extensive leadership experience to work here, as he prepares the Soldiers of this command for the tough challenges that lie ahead," Thurman said.
Campbell is no stranger to the Great Place, having served as the commander of 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, as well as the chief of staff for the 4th Inf. Div., Campbell said he and his wife, Ann, are happy to return to Fort Hood.
"Ann and I are delighted to be back in Central Texas, and we look forward to reconnecting with some old friends and building new relationships," he said.
He promised that the strong ties between Fort Hood and the local communities will only continue to grow and flourish during his tenure.
"The support of the Central Texas community for the military servicemembers and their families is legendary throughout the nation, and I will ensure that that bond is strengthened even more, as we work together as a team to make the Great Place even greater," he added.
Campbell also spoke of the great tradition of III Corps Soldiers, who have taken part in every major American conflict since World War I.
"We will continue to build and sustain resilient teams," he said, noting the emphasis will be on continued training, leadership and wellness programs.
Campbell thanked Cone for his leadership and the high standards he championed during his 19 months in command.
While Cone spoke of his excitement for his new assignment, he also said he and his wife, Jill, were saddened to say farewell to Central Texas, where Cone has spent a large portion of his military career.
"This installation and the people who serve here and live here have had a huge impact on me over the years. I can tell you today, that it's not easy to say goodbye," Cone said.
"It's been a truly amazing road we've been on since Jill and I arrived here last September," he added. "The challenges we faced have been significant, yet in reality, they've been nothing compared to the support we've received from so many in the Central Texas community."
Cone also brought a bit of levity to the event, sharing his philosophy that the number of tubas in a military band directly correlate to the number of stars worn by the reviewing officer.
"You will note that we have four tubas today, I hope in recognition of my pending promotion," Cone joked.
Thanking the Soldiers, family members, civilians and Central Texas community surrounding Fort Hood, Cone bid a fond farewell to this military post and welcomed Campbell with open arms.
Campbell comes from Fort Knox, Ky., where he served as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. He began his military career in 1978, when he was commissioned as an armor officer upon his graduation from Kansas State University.