By Amy L. RobinsonJune 5, 2012
FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command welcomed its 21st deputy commanding general -- and the second to its new headquarters on Fort Eustis, Va. -- in a change of responsibility ceremony June 4.
Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of TRADOC, hosted the ceremony where Lt. Gen. David Halverson, who was promoted just hours earlier, assumed responsibility from Lt. Gen. John E. Sterling Jr., who retired after 36 years of service.
"What a great day for our Army," Cone said. "It's a tremendous privilege for me to take part in this change of responsibility and retirement ceremony as we bid farewell and thank Jack and Cathy Sterling for their leadership and service and we welcome another outstanding team to Fort Eustis -- Dave and Karen Halverson."
Halverson, who previously commanded the Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., said he's both humbled and excited to continue to be a part of TRADOC.
"I've been with the TRADOC team for 33 months as the commander of Fort Sill, and I'm just excited to continue to serve TRADOC and our Army in this capacity," Halverson said in a recent interview. "What TRADOC provides to our Army is just tremendous, so I look forward to ensuring that we -- as a team -- continue to provide those capabilities."
Although he acknowledged that providing those capabilities can be challenging at times -- especially in today's fiscal environment, the new DCG said that the key to overcoming these challenges is trust and leadership.
"We're going to have trying times, and we have to know that your leaders are here to take care of you, and your Army's here to take care of you and your families," Halverson said. "Will we have to reshape? Will we have to readjust? Yes, but have trust in your leaders, have trust in your Army, and have trust in TRADOC, and you'll accomplish these missions and you'll do them well."
Teamwork is also important to mission success, according to the Babbitt, Minn., native, a die-hard Twins, Vikings and Wild fan who earned the nickname "the Swede" during his time on the ice hockey team at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
"It's really important to be part of a team," Halverson said, explaining that the key to a good team is pride -- pride in one's self and pride in one's team. "I know that in TRADOC, we have a great team, and we have a lot of pride, and I know we'll continue to do the great things that our Army and our nation ask us to do."
In continuing to serve the Army for more than three decades, Halverson's assignments have taken him --and his family -- throughout the world. From being a senior military analyst in Panama to being the Central Command J-3 chief of plans who planned, coordinated and executed war plans for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and he credits the Army with his leader development.
"Our Army is very good in leader development and postures one for success," he said. "I've had many great opportunities and experiences in my career to date, and when I look back, our Army has provided me a great foundation to handle some of the complex challenging issues our Army faces today."
Regardless of the issues the Army faces today, Halverson said the decision he made at age 17 -- following in the footsteps of his father, a World War II veteran, and his uncles, World War II and Korean War veterans -- is one of the greatest decision he's ever made, and it has been an honor to serve.
"That's why I look forward to serving TRADOC and the Army still -- after what's coming up on about 33 years of service. It's just a real privilege to serve and lead in the Army."