Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim assumed command of U.S. Army South from Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas during a change of command ceremony Sept. 14 at MacArthur Parade Field at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Rudesheim took over command of Army South following an assignment as the deputy director for joint and coalition warfighting, joint civil-military operations, the Joint Staff in Suffolk, Va.

Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, the commander of U.S. Southern Command, hosted the ceremony. Fraser reflected upon his relationship with Trombitas, who had commanded Army South since November 2009, and the mission that Rudesheim will undertake.

"During his time in command, Simeon has provided strong leadership, direct advice, honest counsel, and constant outreach to our partners and our counterparts," said Fraser. "In addition, he skillfully directed his Soldiers to accomplish key tasks across the spectrum of U.S. Southern Command's mission."

"Gen. Rudesheim brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the region and is ready to building the strong relationships that Simeon has built during his time here," Fraser said. "Fred is ready to lead this command to new heights. He brings the right mix of experience leadership regional insight and vision to this important job. He has a passion for this mission and region and I can't think of a better person to take command of Army South from Simeon than him."

During the ceremony, Trombitas introduced Rudesheim to Army South.

"I first met Frederick at Fort Carson and I'll tell you without a doubt, he is the best general officer in our Army to take this command," said Trombitas. "I know he'll take this command to the next level, and he'll have a lot of fun doing it."

Following his introduction, Rudesheim expressed his excitement for joining Army South here in Texas, and assuming the command's mission in Central and South America and the Caribbean, a region he used to call home. He was born and raised in Panama, where he lived for 18 years before leaving for college.

Rudesheim is also a 1981 Army ROTC graduate of the University of Texas. He stated that he is honored to be able to command a unit in Texas that is responsible for a region where he grew up.

"I love this region, I love what we do and I have a passion for our mission," said Rudesheim. "For me and my family, this is coming home."

"And now, for me and the Soldiers of Army South, it's manos a la obra (all hands to work)."

U.S. Army South is the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command. SOUTHCOM's area of responsibility encompasses 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America, and the Caribbean and covers about 15.6 million square miles.