FORT BRAGG, N.C., Sept. 12, 2011 -- Gen. David M. Rodriguez took command of U.S. Army Forces Command here today in a ceremony that formalized the transformation of the "Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces" into a "four-star" installation.

U.S. Army Forces Command, or FORSCOM, Headquarters relocated here this summer under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation.

Rodriguez is the 19th commander in FORSCOM's 38-year history. Other notable former commanders of FORSCOM include Gen. Colin Powell and Gen. Walter T. Kerwin Jr., the first FORSCOM commander.

Rodriguez most recently served as commander of the International Security Force Joint Command and Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan from March 2010 to July 2011.

During the ceremony, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the chief of staff of the Army, transferred the FORSCOM colors to Rodriguez with the assistance of Command Sgt. Maj. Roger Howard, acting FORSCOM command sergeant major. The passing of the colors symbolically represents the passing of responsibility and authority over to the new FORSCOM commander.

Today's ceremony was the first major Army ceremonial event hosted by Odierno, who became the 38th Army chief of staff Sept. 7.

"Today not only represents Dave (Rodriguez) taking command of FORSCOM, but also the final step of the transition of Forces Command from Atlanta to Fort Bragg," Odierno said.

"Assuming command of FORSCOM is a privilege and I am proud and lucky to be standing before you today," said Rodriguez. "The opportunity to lead our Army's largest command is a tremendous honor."

Rodriquez reflected on the tradition of excellence within FORSCOM and its many initiatives for national security, the Army's Soldiers and families.

Rodriguez lauded the Soldiers and family members of FORSCOM for their sacrifices and professionalism.

"Our nation and Army are in a sea of continual change," Rodriguez said. "This is nothing new to us and will not slow us down, nor will it detract from our mission focus in the future."

"The challenges we face will be tremendous, but we will not falter," he said in closing.