Fort Leavenworth greets new leader
Fort Leavenworth A former student at the Command and General Staff College at the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth took charge of the base Thursday morning in a ceremony at Bell Hall.
Lt. Gen. David Petraeus succeeded Gen. William S. Wallace as commander of the base, and the Combined Arms Center, which has its headquarters there. Petraeus attended the college in 1982 and 1983.
The ceremony included a 15-gun salute for the Petraeus, who had arrived on the fort two days earlier. Petraeus' previous, simultaneous posts were command of the 101st Airborne Division deployed in Iraq, and command of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq. The mission of the last two commands was to train Iraqis soldiers to succeed U.S. troops in providing security for their country.
Wallace, under whom Petraeus served in the V Corps as commander of the 101st during the first year of the Iraqi war, described Petraeus as a "gifted leader."
"He's the right man for the job," Wallace said.
After Wallace's talk, Petraeus spoke.
"Holly and I are very pleased to return to Fort Leavenworth," he said.
Petraeus said it was "wonderful" to see that the character of the fort had endured through the years, even as many improvements had been made on the base.
A reception was held afterward for the invitation-only guests of the ceremony. There, they could pass through a reception line to greet Petraeus and his wife, Holly.
Petraeus stayed afterward for a brief question-and-answer session with local media.
He called Lansing a "booming burg," in reference to its growth since he had been a student more than 20 years ago at the post, and said Fort Leavenworth was still known as the "best hometown in the U.S. Army."
Among the changes to Command and General Staff College Petraeus said he planned were to make stronger partnerships between it and the University of Kansas and Kansas State University.
For more on the ceremony, look in The Current on Oct. 27.