SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.-- Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Richardson became the 18th commanding general of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command March 27 during a change of command ceremony here.Maj. Gen. Kevin A. Leonard, the outgoing commanding general, retired after 33 years of service.The ceremony was co-hosted by Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command.Richardson has served in a variety of command and staff positions during his 31-year career. He recently returned from Iraq where he was the J4 for U.S. Forces -- Iraq. Other key assignments include: commander, Land and Maritime DLA; U.S. Pacific Command J4; executive officer to the deputy commander, Army Materiel Command; commander, 64th Corps Support Group; deputy J4, U.S. European Command; and commander, 296th Forward Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash., among other assignments.Richardson holds a bachelor degree in business administration from Stephen F. Austin State University; a Master of Military Arts and Science from U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; and a Master of Science in Strategic Resource Management from National Defense University. His military education includes the Quartermaster Basic and Advance Courses, Combined Arms Staff School, Army Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.SDDC is the Army Service Component Command of the U.S. Transportation Command and is a major subordinate command to Army Materiel Command. This relationship links USTRANSCOM's Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise and AMC's Materiel Enterprise.Serving as the Department of Defense's global surface transportation expert, SDDC plans, books, ships and tracks cargo; conducts port operations; and manages personal property moves for Warfighters, other federal employees and their families. The command influences more than $5 billion in commercial carrier services.