In three years time, “Team Richardson” has left a mark at Fort Hood.
The married general officers held leadership roles in U.S. Army Operational Test Command, 1st Cavalry Division and III Corps. They are now headed to separate posts to continue to positively impact the entire Army, said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commander of III Corps and Fort Hood.
After a year in Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. James Richardson and Brig. Gen. Laura Richardson returned to Fort Hood long enough to say goodbye to Central Texas during a retreat ceremony Friday at III Corps Headquarters.
“I want to thank both of you for an incredible job, incredible selfless service and we all wish you the very best of luck in the future,” he said.
During the ceremony, James Richardson relinquished his responsibilities as deputy commander of III Corps and Fort Hood as he prepares to take command of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
He joined the corps in July 2012 after holding the same title with the 1st Cavalry Division.
“Over the last couple of years, this fort would not have run without the personal effort of Gen. Richardson,” Milley said.
James Richardson described his three years at Fort Hood as a “tremendous honor.”
“These soldiers are seasoned combat veterans and their accomplishments are a lasting legacy that became part of the history of the Third Armored Corps,” he said.
While in Afghanistan, the two-star general took on additional responsibilities with the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command headquarters. Milley described his expertise as “invaluable” in Afghanistan.
“He was the unsung hero in Afghanistan,” Milley said. “He was faced not only with the combat situation you see every day in Afghanistan, he also had to manage massive amounts of equipment, personnel and vehicles to do the drawdown in Afghanistan.”
This included reducing the force by 70,000 troops in Afghanistan over one year.
Also during the ceremony, Richardson’s wife was recognized not only as an Army spouse, but also as a former Fort Hood leader.
Laura Richardson left the post of 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander — the first woman named to this title in an Army maneuver division — one year ago to serve as the deputy chief of staff of communications for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
“Laura as you know has been a tremendous trailblazer in our Army,” Milley said. “She performed exceptionally well and makes us all proud.”
She now is off to Washington, D.C., to be chief legislative liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Army.
“I’m humbled and honored to take everybody’s wishes of good luck,” she said as she prepares for what she described as a “hard job.”
“More important than being hard, it’s very important for the Army,” the one-star general said. “It’s very important that all of us in that organization do the best job possible.”