FORT HOOD — It took Brig. Gen. Thomas James 28 years as an armor officer to get to the 1st Cavalry Division and the experience exceeded all expectations, he said.

“In only 11 short months, I was able to live the legend,” he said as he relinquished his post as the division’s deputy commander of maneuver during a ceremony Thursday on Cooper Field. “It’s been an amazing experience for me.”

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, division commander, said James will be missed.

“While one side of me wishes you could have spent more time here with us, the other knows that the Army institution benefits from your new position and the influence you will have on so many soldiers,” Ierardi said.

James, who Congress confirmed for promotion to major general, is moving to the Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The organization is designed to provide a balanced and comprehensive approach to developing capabilities that advance both the art and science of mission command.

“Mission command is the warfighting function that synchronizes all of them — movement, maneuver, sustainment, protection. Mission command pulls all that together,” James said.

As he leaves the cavalry, he said what he will remember most vividly are the soldiers and the legend of the organization.

“It’s the camaraderie, the history and how it’s just a bit different than other organizations,” James said.

“It’s the most powerful organization in our Army, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s neat to be a part of that and the legacy and the history to make that happen.”

Read more about James’ time with the 1st Cavalry Division in Wednesday’s Fort Hood Herald.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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