By Ms. Carol Kerr (TRADOC)June 15, 2012
The site of hundreds of historic events throughout American history, Indian Field at Carlisle Barracks was punctuated by flags of the states and nations at the change of command for the United States Army War College.
Maj. Gen. Gregg F. Martin, 48th USAWC Commandant, passed the colors to Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo, in a traditional ceremony that signals continuity and change.
Presiding was Gen. Robert Cone, commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
"In all of our efforts, educating leaders is the most important thing we do," said Cone about Army priorities. Building leaders is demanding work, and Martin has spent two years at the center of the effort, he said.
Cone complimented Martin for a successful planning effort that adapted the Army War College.
"Gregg's effort will position the Army War College as a recognized leader well into the 21st century," said Cone.
Martin has been selected by the Army Chief of Staff to assume duties as president of the National Defense University. The ceremony celebrated the two years during which Martin led a period of transformation that included the Army War College campaign plan; the expanded International Fellows Program; the creation of the Senior Leader Seminar; and the USAWC internal reorganization to meet future challenges with a "whole-of-Army War College" approach.
"Our purpose is our passion," said Martin, about the USAWC mission to develop, inspire and serve strategic leaders through Professional Military Education.
"Can there be a better investment in our nation's future than wise, strong leaders who are agile and critical thinkers, effective communicators and collaborators, strategic and ethical decision-makers?" Martin asked. "Can there be a better payoff than a war averted? A conflict shortened?
"Since 1901, this hope has been the guiding principle of the Army War College -- " … not to promote war but to preserve peace."
Cucolo recognized the Martins' hospitality and thanked his wife, Ginger, and "three great Army brats," Tony-Allen, Mackie, and Abbie, who made their home here in one of the infamously small houses of "Smurf Village" during his student days in the Class of 1998.
"Carlisle Barracks, the U.S. Army War College, is the only place in the nation where talented thinkers, researchers and practitioners wake up every day dedicated to advance strategic thought on the global application of land power in the name of U.S. interests," said Cucolo.
"Our research products have to be bayonet points in the war of ideas. Our graduates must be advisers and solution-generators for today's most complex strategic problems.
"At a time when the Army and the Joint Team is refocusing on PME, and a time when our strategic problems could not be more complex or have faster impact, there's no place I'd rather be," he said.
Commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1979, Cucolo has served 18 of the past 32 years in Infantry and Armor divisions. He commanded two companies, was an operations officer at battalion and brigade level and commanded an Infantry battalion. While in battalion command, he deployed his unit as a combined arms task force to the contested area of Brcko, Bosnia, for the first 11 months of the NATO Implementation Force effort in the Balkans, December 1995 and to November 1996. He commanded the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning, and was the assistant division commander for the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum. While in this capacity, he deployed to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and served as deputy commanding general CJTF-180, during the 10th Mountain Division's service in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2004.
During 33 months of command of the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, he deployed the headquarters to Iraq from October 2009 through November 2010, to assume command of U.S. Division-North/Task Force Marne. Responsible for all U.S. forces operating in the seven Iraqi provinces north of Baghdad, Task Force Marne established the Arab-Kurd confidence building operations, supported the Iraqi national election of 2010, executed the significant drawdown of U.S. forces in the summer of 2010, successfully ended Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in northern Iraq and opened Operation NEW DAWN.
He served as director of Force development for Deputy Chief of Staff, G8, at Headquarters, Department of the Army; and as chief of Army Public Affairs from 2006 to 2008. As director of Joint Center for Operational Analysis, U.S. Joint Forces Command from 2004 to 2006, he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and served with Joint Task Force-Katrina to develop lessons learned from civil support operations after Hurricane Katrina. His duty on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, from July 2001 to July 2003, included service in the Strategy and Policy Directorate (J5), the Operations Directorate (J3), immediately after 9/11, and then, again, with J5 as chief of European and NATO Policy.
Cucolo holds an Army War College degree and a University of San Francisco master's degree in organizational management, and a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy.