U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Paul Funk, Combined Joint Task Force's deputy commanding general, speaks to soldiers assigned toAlpha Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at Contingency Operation Post Pirtle King, Kunar province, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Trey Harvey

A familiar name has been assigned to be the next III Corps and Fort Hood commander

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II is a Fort Hood native and the son of retired Lt. Gen. Paul “Butch” Funk, who led III Corps and Fort Hood in the mid-1990s.

The Army announced recently that Funk will soon be promoted to lieutenant general and will replace Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who took command of III Corps and Fort Hood on Aug. 8, 2014.

Funk currently serves in the Pentagon as assistant deputy chief of staff for the Army.

He has a long history with Fort Hood, including being born on post in the 1960s and getting married at Fort Hood.

According to the elder Funk, his son’s first assignment in the Army was also at Fort Hood with 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He returned to the “Ironhorse” brigade later as a lieutenant colonel and commanded 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and eventually took over “Ironhorse 6” as a colonel.

About eight years ago, the younger Funk served as III Corps chief of staff. From there, he served as deputy commander and then commander of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

His wife is Beth Funk, who was an assistant principal at Meadows Elementary School the last time the couple was stationed at Fort Hood.

The elder Funk currently lives in the Gatesville area and could not be more excited to see his son take over his former command.

“We feel great about it. We’re really proud and happy for them and for the (III) Corps — Paul is a terrific soldier,” the retired lieutenant general said. “And we get to see more of our grandchild and our great-grandchild.”

Funk said his son is a phenomenal leader who not only loves his soldiers, but one whose soldiers love and respect him for his fair-minded approach to leadership.

“At this stage of his life, I think he’s a better soldier than his father ever was,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him, and I would be extremely proud to see him continue on to his fourth star later in his career.”

The elder Funk said he didn’t know if there had ever been a father and son command the same Corps in the Army’s history, but he said it will be the first time in III Corps’ history.

“He’s excited to be coming back to Fort Hood,” he said of his son.

The younger Funk, a veteran combat commander, has served several times in the Middle East, with his first deployment as a company commander during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He returned to the Middle East when he served as the 1st Cavalry Division operations officer at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom and returned to Iraq as the First Team’s 1st Brigade Combat Team commander. He later returned as the deputy commander of 1st Infantry Division, followed by a deployment as the Big Red One commander during Operation Inherent Resolve.

Congressman Roger Williams, R-Austin, whose district covers a portion of Fort Hood said the younger Funk is a great fit for Fort Hood.

“I welcome Maj. Gen. Paul Funk’s return to Killeen when he becomes commander of The Great Place, and I want to thank Lt. Gen. MacFarland for his service at Fort Hood,” Williams said. “I am confident General Funk’s strong leadership and experience will keep our sons and daughters in Central Texas in the best hands.”

The Army has not yet announced where MacFarland will be stationed next, and Fort Hood officials said a date for a change-of-command ceremony has not been scheduled yet.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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