The 1st Cavalry Division bid farewell to its deputy commanding general for maneuver and welcomed its two newest deputy commanding generals during a retreat ceremony at Cooper Field in Front of the division’s headquarters on Friday.
Brig. Gen. William “Hank” D. Taylor, deputy commanding general–maneuver, is departing to become the new commander of Operational Test Command on West Fort Hood.
Maj. Gen. Paul T. Calvert, the 1st Cavalry Division commanding general, said saying goodbye to Taylor was difficult because he had been such a key and essential member of the division’s team.
“Hank, you’re a true difference maker, you’ve been absolutely decisive in your efforts to raise the level of readiness,” Calvert said. “We’re better and more prepared today because of your actions.”
Calvert said his biggest regret was not having served with Taylor prior to his assignment as the deputy commanding general a little more than a year ago.
“I appreciate your example of personal and professional balance, the manner in which you invest in people, your inclusiveness and embracement of relationships and inspiring others into action,” Calvert said. “You drove systems and processes, kept your team focused on priorities and became a trusted confidant whose advice and counsel I truly coveted on a daily basis.”
Calvert said Taylor was the best deputy commanding general he could have asked for.
“It is truly a humbling honor to be here and to be able to reflect on the past year serving in the most powerful division in the world,” Taylor said. “A year ago, I stood here as a brand-new deputy commander and I really didn’t understand how incredible a ride this experience was going to be.”
Taylor thanked Calvert for establishing a command climate and organizational environment that was one of the best he had experienced in 30 years of service.
“Our division motto of being the ‘First Team’ is truly what we are,” Taylor said. “We are a team.”
Calvert welcomed Col. Chris Norrie, incoming deputy commanding general–maneuver and Col. Miles Brown, incoming deputy commanding general–support.
“Chris closed on the post late yesterday afternoon, and in true professional fashion he was on a targeting board first thing this morning in preparation for a division exercise we are doing with I Corps,” Calvert said.
Calvert said it was a true blessing to have Norrie and his family with the division.
“Chris brings a multitude of operational experience, passion for our profession, humbleness and a genuine love for people that is going to truly strengthen our formation and echelon,” Calvert said. “Chris, you’re the right leader at the right time to step in as our deputy commanding general for manuever. The difference that you’re going to make in the readiness of our formation will be significant and I look forward to the ride with both you and your family.”
Calvert said the Browns were certainly no strangers to Fort Hood nor the “First Team”.
Calvert said Miles has had multiple assignments over the years within the division and replaced the deputy commanding general for support Brig. Gen. Matt Van Wagenen several months ago without missing a beat.
“Energy, passion for people, critical thinking, problem solving, selflessness and being an enabler to mission success are indicative of Miles Brown,” Calvert said. “He’s already knocking the ball out of the park and fostering increased readiness within the formation on a daily basis.”
“Miles I’m proud to have you and your family on the ‘First Team’ and I’m excited about the difference that you’re going to continue making across the formation.”
Norrie’s last assignment was as the commander of the National Training Center’s operation group in Fort Irwin, California. This is his third assignment to Fort Hood. Norrie was excited to be back at the “Great Place”.
“It feels wonderful, this is an incredible place, the community is absolutely amazing and everyone here has been so welcoming to me and our family,” Norrie said. “We are very grateful for the privilege of being back here.”
“We collectively have one priority and that is to build readiness,” Norrie said. “To prepare these formations to fight as directed and win.”
Norrie said he looks forward to getting to know the division team and immerse himself in the “awesomeness of the 1st Cavalry Division”.
“I hope in some small way to make a difference and just enjoy being a part of such a special team,” Norrie said.
Brown’s last assignment was as the chief of staff of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. This is his fourth assignment to Fort Hood and said “It felt great” to be back in Texas.
“All three previous times I was in 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and it’s great to be part of the division, it’s great to see the people of the division and especially great to be in the community,” Brown said.
Brown said his focus will be on equipment and readiness.
“The most important is always the people and then the equipment,” Brown said. “The readiness we have to have has been prioritized to us by the chief of staff of the Army, it’s a priority for Gen. (Robert) Abrams, the (U.S. Forces Command) commander, the corps commander and it’s Maj. Gen. Calvert’s priority, and that’s what I’m working on.”
Calvert presented the cavalry Stetson and 1st Cavalry Division patch to Norrie and Brown during the ceremony welcoming them to the “First Team”.