FORT HOOD — The 479th Field Artillery Brigade, First Army Division West, welcomed its new commander, Col. John Leffers, Tuesday during a ceremony at Cameron Field.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be serving with you,” Leffers said to the soldiers in his brigade. “Our mission is strategically critical to our Army and to our nation. I look forward to the many challenges that lie ahead.”

Leffers replaced Col. Richard D. Creed, who commanded the brigade since June 2011.

Creed’s next assignment is chief of the Commander’s Planning Group at Training and Doctrine Command Headquarters at Fort Eustis, Va.

Brig. Gen. Gracus Dunn, deputy commander for support for First Army Division West, said Creed had a demanding training mission to fulfil during his tenure and described him as a tremendous leader, trusted adviser and great teammate.

During Creed’s command, the brigade provided post-mobilization to more than 17,400 soldiers from 164 units in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

“Under (Creed’s) leadership, the brigade managed 24 contracts with fiscal responsibilities for over $10 million in support to (Operation Enduring Freedom) deployment expeditionary forces and training missions,” Dunn said.

As he takes over, Leffers said he will command about 500 Fort Hood soldiers in addition to an average of 600 brigade soldiers at battalion sites across the country.

He said he anticipates traveling to those remote sites to offer a command presence over the soldiers despite their distance.

“The goal is to continue, without fail, to flawlessly train our men and women for combat in Afghanistan or other missions that they call upon us to do,” he said.

Dunn said Leffers’ knowledge of training and combat experience will serve him well. “You are the right leader, who is here at the right time,” Dunn said.

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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