FORT HOOD — During his time as commander of First Army Division West, Maj. Gen. Perry L. Wiggins learned a lot from the soldiers and leaders he worked with and the community they served together.
“One of the souvenirs I’m taking (with me) is the genuine pride I have in the unit and what they’ve accomplished,” said Wiggins, who relinquished his position to incoming commander Maj. Gen. Warren E. Phipps Jr. at a ceremony Wednesday at Cameron Field. “You’d like to be a little selfish and think it was all you, but really, all those things are on the shoulders of those soldiers ... and I’m proud of them.”
Wiggins is moving to Fort Sam Houston, where he will serve as deputy commander of U.S. Army North.
“The combined efforts to transform Division West into the best training organization it can be and to welcome a new leader into the process is a challenging time,” Wiggins said. But, he’s confident he’s leaving the unit in capable hands.
“(Phipps) is a visionary leader with foresight and integrity, and he’s the perfect fit for Division West. I know he will take the division to new heights,” Wiggins said.
Division West, a subordinate unit of First Army, trains and validates Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers for deployment to combat and other contingency operations. Three of the division’s eight subordinate training brigades are at Fort Hood.
Wiggins was amazed at the division’s achievements during his 16 months as commanding general and said those accomplishments are a testament to the leadership at Fort Hood.
Under Wiggins’ leadership, the unit deployed the first organization from First Army to a combat zone since World War II. The division also trained 69 joint units, mobilized more than 23,000 soldiers in 360 units and demobilized more than 35,000 soldiers in 400 units.
During the start of his career, Phipps was stationed at Fort Hood, where he held a command position within a cavalry squadron.
He said he is glad to be back at “The Great Place” and moved from the Washington, D.C., where he served as deputy director for regional operations of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon.
“I am humbled by the legacy of those who preceded me and inspired by the dedication, selfless sacrifice and professional confidence of the soldiers now serving in the division,” Phipps said.
He pledged to advance the ideals of Army values, including selfless service and caring for soldiers, civilians and their families.
“No matter what challenges may arise, we will remain committed to providing the best-trained combat training units for deployment to any theater of operations,” Phipps said. “I am humbled by this responsibility and I am truly honored to join you in this noble endeavor.”