The Bayonet

Tuesday, May. 06, 2014

Former IMCOM, MCoE commander retires

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After 35 years of service, Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter retired from the Army during a ceremony in front of McGinnis-Wickam Hall Friday.

Ferriter's final assignment was as the assistant chief of staff for installation management and the commanding general of Installation Management Command. Ferriter served in that role from November 2011 to April of this year.

Before serving as IMCOM commander, Ferriter was the first commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and oversaw the integration of the Infantry and Armor schools during his command.

Ferriter was assigned here as a student in the Infantry Officer Basic Course and also attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course. He returned here to serve with the 75th Ranger Regiment from October 1986 to June 1989. From July 1996 to June 1998, Ferriter commanded 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

After a tour at Fort Bragg, N.C, where he commanded 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, he returned to Fort Benning to command the 11th Infantry Regiment from June 1999 to July 2001.

He then served as commander of the U.S. Army Infantry Center and commandant of the Infantry School from June 2009 to October 2009 before the MCoE was established.

It was this strong association with Fort Benning that Ferriter said led him to hold his retirement ceremony here.

"We say that Fort Benning is the home of the Infantry, Armor, Cavalry, American Ranger and Airborne, but it's actually the home for all of us," he said. "I started here in 1979 as a second lieutenant, and I've been assigned or trained here as a first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel and I commanded here as a two-star general. We raised our kids in this area, we're connected to Columbus, Phenix City and all of our friends, so it's only natural for us to come back here for our final event on this great journey. To the Fort Benning community, we're glad to be here and proud to be here. ... Thanks for being a part of our lives, but it isn't over. We're just going to the next step."

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell served as the ceremony's reviewing officer, and praised the leadership qualities he said made Ferriter special.

"No matter what job the Army gave Mike Ferriter, he adapted and he applied his remarkable ability to build a team to make that organization something special," Campbell said. He really is the epitome of what we hope for and expect from our senior leaders. He's competent, absolutely committed and exemplifies the warrior ethos in all that he does."

Both Ferriter and his wife, Margie, have worked extensively with Gold Star Families and Army Families during Ferriter's career, and Ferriter said he would miss the deep bonds he has formed during those efforts.

"We're going to miss that no matter how hard things are, you can trust the person on your left and right," he said. "You cannot pay a Soldier enough money for what a Soldier does and you certainly can't pay a Soldier enough for what his Family goes through. ... There are great people all over the world, but I know that camaraderie is something that I'll be seeking as we move forward."

Congressman Sanford Bishop, representing Georgia's 2nd congressional district, was on hand to present both Michael and Margie with congressional awards. "There is absolutely no doubt that Mike Ferriter and Margie have left indelible footprints on this Army and on this nation, and for that, we are entirely grateful," Bishop said.

Despite the praise he received from the ceremony's speakers, Ferriter said the Army will continue on after his retirement.

"You pour yourself into these great jobs that the Army gives us," he said. "You pour your every ounce of belief into it, and then in a moment someone says something and they thank you, and someone else is going to do this. Someone else is going to pick up and do great. The Army will go rolling along."

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