Fort Hood is welcoming new leadership for III Corps and the 1st Cavalry Division, two of the Army’s top units.
The 1st Cavalry Division held an assumption of command ceremony Wednesday morning on Cooper Field for Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson, according to a news release from Fort Hood.
At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, another ceremony at Fort Hood will be held for Maj. Gen. Steven Gilland, the new III Corps deputy commanding general for maneuver, the position previously held by Richardson.
While at III Corps, Richardson lead the “People First” initiative to build cohesive teams and improve trust, officials said.
Now in charge of the 1st Cavalry Division, Richardson takes command of more than 18,000 soldiers at Fort Hood.
In the past year, brigades from the 1st Cavalry Division have deployed to Europe, Korea and the Middle East.
At Fort Hood the 1st Cavalry Division has fielded the most modern tanks and other vehicles to improve its position as the most lethal and technologically-advanced armored division in the Army, according to the release.
The ceremony also included a special “Cavalry Charge” with a helicopter flyover.
Richardson stepped onto the historic yellow 1st Cavalry Division patch on Cooper Field, following the footsteps of First Team leaders from throughout the division’s 100 years, including those of his grandfather, who commanded in the division.
“If he was still with us today, he would tell us unequivocally that the highlight and greatest honor of his 28-year career was that he rode with the First Team. Yesterday, I took one of his patches that he wore in Korea and had them sewn onto my Army green service uniform,” Richardson told the audience. “And today, on my left sleeve, is one of his patches from occupied Japan. I draw strength and determination from those who came before us. We must draw strength and inspiration from our history from our veterans and from our legacy. That’s what it means to live the legend in the 1st Cavalry Division.”
Richardson said he plans to earn the trust of his Soldiers and their families, through his actions, his genuine care and his compassion. He then charged the Soldiers in formation with the same expectation.
“My expectation is that each of you do the same for each other and together we will build a cohesive team of teams, led by adaptive leaders,” Richardson told the formation. “It is with the utmost humility that I share with you today that I am honored to join your ranks and proud to ride with the First Team.”
Richardson is coming in after the suspension of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Broadwater, the previous commander of the 1st Calvary Division. Broadwater was one of 14 Fort Hood leaders to be suspended or fired in December in the wake of Army investigations following the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.
Army officials investigating Fort Hood recognized failures in the way the post implemented the Army’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response Program.
Broadwater had written a farewell letter to the unit Tuesday before the change of command that was posted on the 1st Cavalry Division’s Facebook page.
“CSM Kenny and I would like to thank each of you and your family members for making the 1st Cavalry Division the most cohesive and lethal Division in the Army,” the letter read. “It has been our distinct honor and privilege to serve with each of you.”
Broadwater has been reassigned as the deputy commanding general of V Corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Gilland’s previous assignment was as the 2nd Infantry Division commander in the Republic of Korea. He previously served at Fort Hood as the chief of staff for the 1st Cavalry Division from May 2014 to February 2015, and commander of the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team from July 2012 to April 2014.
He has served multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq.