101st Airborne Division 'Screaming Eagles' get new commander
By Nondice Thurman, Fort Campbell CourierAugust 12, 2011
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., Aug. 12, 2011 -- Hundreds gathered at the Fort Campbell Division Parade Field for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) change of command ceremony Friday. The ceremony marked the official transfer from Maj. Gen. John F. Campbell to Maj. Gen. James C. McConville.
Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, the acting commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, presided over the ceremony. He took the time to explain what it means to command such a unique division.
“Command is a very special time in a military career,” said Bromberg. “There is no greater privilege; no greater honor than to lead American Soldiers. Commanding our Army’s only air assault division is a rare and extraordinary opportunity that comes with its own distinct set of challenges and rewards and [Major] General John Campbell has met these challenges head on.”
“He has more than successfully commanded the 101st during these historic times,” Bromberg said.
Bromberg, Campbell and McConville each took the time to thank the Soldiers and their families making the division and post what it is. They acknowledged their continued commitment to answering their nation’s call to serve.
“Screaming Eagle Soldiers, you are the unmistakable expression of American resolve and the center piece of American commitment around the world,” said Bromberg. “You honor us each and every day and we are humbled to be here with you.”
I’ve been inspired each and every day by your noble sacrifice, your heroism, your patriotic commitment, your loyalty, [by] this Band of Brothers,” said Campbell. “[Your] work is truly noble. It has made a difference. It has mattered.”
“Today is about celebrating the achievements of the extraordinary men and women standing on the field before us,” said McConville. “It's about thanking their families for their unwavering and steadfast support during multiple deployments. It’s about showing our sincere appreciation to the Fort Campbell community who supports this division and post unlike any other place I’ve ever been.”
“It’s about honoring our veterans who have left us a proud legacy we strive to live up to every day. And finally it’s about [Major General Campbell] and Ann Campbell, who have just done a fabulous job commanding this division and have left Maria and I a wonderful division and smooth transition.” he continued. “They are such a class act and a tough act to follow.”
In addition to thanking the troops and families he has served with during his time at Fort Campbell, Campbell thanked his wife for the roles she has played in his life and for her continuing support as they move on.
“You’ve been a best friend, wife, mother and harshest critic,” Campbell said. “We go down this road a little further still together just as it should be. I love you dearly and yes, I owe you big time.”
McConville returns to Fort Campbell after spending time at the Pentagon. He has previously served with the 101st as the G3, Deputy Commanding General for Support and as commander of an air cavalry squadron. He is thankful for the opportunity to return and to lead the division.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” McConville said. “I look forward to preparing for and leading you [in] our next 'Rendezvous with Destiny.'”