FORT HOOD — III Corps Headquarters welcomed a new commanding general Wednesday afternoon during a change-of-command ceremony.
“It’s great to be back at ‘The Great Place’,” said Gen. Robert B. Abrams, U.S. Forces Command commanding general and event host. “The community is so supportive here in Central Texas.”
During the ceremony, Abrams passed the III Corps colors from outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland to now-Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk.
The passing of the colors is a long-standing military tradition that represents the passing of allegiance of soldiers assigned to the unit.
In his final address to the III Corps staff members, MacFarland took time to thank the soldiers, families, and civilians for the sacrifices they have made to make Fort Hood and III Corps during his time in command.
He also called Funk, “a worthy — more than worthy — successor to my predecessor, and he will protect and build upon the proud legacy of America’s only armored corps.”
Before the ceremony, MacFarland was given an end-of-tour medal presentation in the West Atrium of the III Corps headquarters followed by a promotion ceremony for Funk to lieutenant general.
Funk arrived at Fort Hood earlier this year, and signed III Corps assumption-of-command orders on March 31, which is the official date when he took command of III Corps. The corps includes military units at Fort Hood; Fort Bliss; Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Riley, Kan.
Funk’s last assignment was assistant deputy chief of staff for the Army at the Pentagon.
Funk has a long history with Fort Hood, including being born on post in the 1960s and getting married at Fort Hood. He previously served as III Corps chief of staff and as brigade commander with the 1st Cavalry Division.
His wife, Beth Funk, was an assistant principal at Meadows Elementary School the last time the couple was stationed at Fort Hood. She recently opened a new business in Killeen.
Paul Funk’s father is retired Lt. Gen. Paul “Butch” Funk, who led III Corps and Fort Hood in the mid-1990s. The elder Funk lives in the Gatesville area.
As III Corps commander, MacFarland, with about 500 other Fort Hood soldiers, deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for a year to head up the coalition effort to fight the Islamic State group.
During the deployment, the task force trained more than 13,500 members of the Iraq Security Forces, who liberated more than 700,000 Iraqi civilians from IS control, MacFarland said.
MacFarland’s next assignment will be at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., where he will be deputy commander and chief of staff for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.