FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Fort Carson welcomed a new commander Thursday; a 28-year combat veteran, who has served in ranger, airborne, and infantry units around the world prior to coming to the mountain post.
Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, greeted his division for the first time with a calm, relaxed demeanor, though he was prone to moments of laughter during his speech. He was upbeat about his opportunity to command in Colorado Springs.
"Everything I've seen has been absolutely magnificent," said LaCamera. "Not only the division but the local community is absolutely flawless; I look forward to getting to meet everybody."
While happy with what he has seen so far, LaCamera said he is not afraid to make changes as needed.
"I'm just going to build on what General Anderson has started," he said. "We are different people so there will be changes. I will change based on my personality and experience, and frankly, on the missions we get."
LaCamera started his military career in the United States Military Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant May 1985. He has also received a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. His other military schools include the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the Senior Service College Fellowship Course.
LaCamera's deployments include Panama in support of Operation Just Cause, Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy, four tours to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, and four tours to Afghanistan in support of Operation Anaconda and Operation Enduring Freedom.
During his time in Panama, LaCamera served as the assistant battalion supply officer, learning the ins and outs of Army logistics. In Haiti, LaCamera served as a company commander, where tactical leadership is gained.
In his first two deployments to Afghanistan and initial tour in Iraq, in the initial stages of the wars, LaCamera served as a battalion commander, and subsequently, as the regimental commander, in the 75th Airborne Regiment, where he honed his operational skills.
His next two tours to Afghanistan saw LaCamera serving as director of operations and then assistant commanding general for Special Operations Command, followed by a deployment as the deputy commanding general (operations), for the 25th Infantry Division, providing a wide spectrum of strategic experience.
La Camera's decorations include the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Service medal (with five Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf cluster), Combat Infantryman Badge (with Star), Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge (with Bronze Star), Pathfinder Badge, and Ranger Tab.
LaCamera is accompanied by his wife, Theresa, and four children.