A former 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander is now the acting U.S. Forces Command leader, in charge of 700,000 troops and the largest command in the Army.
Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson was the first female 1st Cavalry deputy commander from 2012-2013, and was a brigadier general at the time. She also served as the commander of Operational Test Command, which is based at Fort Hood.
On Tuesday, she became the acting commander of Forces Command — based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina — when Gen. Robert B. “Abe” Abrams relinquished command during a ceremony. He leaves Fort Bragg to assume command of the U.S. Forces Korea.
Gen. Mark A. Milliey, the Army’s chief of staff and a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander, presided over the ceremony.
“You’re going to be commanding this command for a considerable length of time,” Milley told Richardson, who was already a deputy commander for Foces Command. “It will be measured in months, not days or weeks. We know that you’re going to do a great job and we know that everyone in Forces Command is going to do as great a job for Laura Richardson as you did for Abe Abrams.”
There is not an official announcement for the incoming commander of Forces Command, who will need to undergo the confirmation process, according to the Army.
Milley praised Abrams’ accomplishments during his three years at Forces Command, crediting him with bringing enhanced meaning to the Army total force and increasing soldier readiness.
“In terms of manning, training, equipping and leader development of the United States Army, there is no one person in the Army today who has done more to improve the readiness of the United States Army than Abe Abrams,” said Milley.
“Korea is a tough situation and it has been for a long time,” said Milley. “We’re sending over our best in Abe Abrams.”
In her time a Fort Hood, Richardson made headlines as the first female to lead the U.S. Army Operational Test Command and the first woman to serve as a deputy commander of an Army division.
She’s a Colorado native and aviator by trade.
And those headlines are rolling in again as Richardson takes over the acting commander job.
Stories are her new position appeared on CNN, the Huffington Post and other media outlets Wednesday.