By Sgt. Steven Peterson (10th Mountain)May 24, 2012
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The 10th Mountain Division (LI) command group conducted a farewell ceremony Tuesday at Sexton Field for a general who has served three years at Fort Drum and who played a pivotal role in leading support and stability operations while deployed to Afghanistan this past year.
Soldiers, Family Members and friends came to honor Brig. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, the division's outgoing deputy commanding general for support. Dahl was accompanied by his wife, Lt. Col. Celia A. FlorCruz, and daughter Madeline, both of whom received red roses as a token of the division's gratitude for their unwavering support of Soldiers, Family Members and the community.
The division was fully represented at the ceremony by Soldiers lined up on the field facing audience members and holding unit colors. The 10th Mountain Division Band played a number of songs during the ceremony, including the national anthem.
Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, described Dahl as a very effective general officer in combat by the way he would make sure he travelled to different places in Afghanistan to meet local residents and understand their culture.
"He knew risk. He placed the future of the Afghan people above his own welfare. He travelled around Afghanistan on foot, vehicles and by helicopters to local bazaars and villages to speak with the elders and learn about their culture," Milley said. "Since his return, K.D. has been absolutely monumental in bringing the division home and strengthening the bond between the 10th Mountain and the people of the North Country."
Milley went on to talk about Dahl's numerous traits as a leader for which he has been known as part of the 10th Mountain Division.
"K.D. is a tremendous leader. He provides influence, (he) is a team builder, and he provides expert command leadership, not only here, but in combat where it really counts," Milley added. "He was not only the deputy commanding general for support but he was also the deputy commanding general for stability for all of Regional Command South."
Once Milley had finished his speech, he welcomed Dahl to the podium. Dahl took to his feet and was very humbled by the moment at hand.
"I think I am having an out-of-body experience. I can't believe all of this is for me," he said. "I was given two years to be the DCGS, and that is twice the amount of time someone would normally get, but I am very grateful for it."
During the ceremony, field artillery Soldiers rendered honors to Dahl with a howitzer salute.
"It is very touching as a field artillery officer to get such an honor to have a howitzer fired at my ceremony," Dahl said. "I want to thank everyone that took their time to make today's event happen."
Dahl ended his speech with his outlook on his future move.
"My Family (and I) are going into this with our eyes wide open," he said. "I have never seen anything done better than what I have seen done right here."
The ceremony concluded with Soldiers singing the 10th Mountain Division Song and the Army Song.