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Members of the Fort Benning community came together July 11 to welcome the Maneuver Center of Excellence's new commanding general, Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, during a change of command ceremony at Soldier Field near the National Infantry Museum.
Miller said he was thrilled to be taking command at Fort Benning.
"When you look at Fort Benning, it comes down to the people, the mission and the community," he said. "When you put all three of those together, both inside our gates and outside our gates, you've got one fantastic assignment. ... I'm absolutely humbled and honored to be here serving as the commanding general. It's more my honor than my privilege to be doing this."
Miller's most recent assignment was in Afghanistan, where he served as the commander of the NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan. He has commanded at every rank from captain to major general, to include combat tours in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as support for contingency operations in Bosnia and Latin America.
His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" device, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge with star, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge and Ranger tab.
Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum, the ceremony's reviewing officer and deputy commanding general and chief of staff of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said Miller's experience makes him an ideal Soldier to command the MCoE.
"We have the utmost confidence that you will take the Maneuver Center to new heights and build upon the great strengths of the Fort Benning and Columbus community and upon the great foundation that (Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster) and other great commanders ... built for us," Mangum said. "I can think of no officer who has more combat experience or more accomplishments on the battlefield of today. You will bring new insight and new perspective to what we're doing across our Army, in (TRADOC) and at the Maneuver Center."
Miller becomes the fourth commander in MCoE history after assuming command from Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who leaves Fort Benning for Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, where he will serve as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. McMaster has been selected for promotion to lieutenant general, but his promotion date has not been set yet.
Miller expressed his appreciation for the work McMaster did during his two years in command of the MCoE, and said many of the goals and visions will remain the same.
"When you start talking about my vision, McMaster and Miller are likeminded," Miller said. "We've known each other for two decades. ... If he's not the best, he's one of the best Army thinkers we have. Everyone talks about that skill and capability of Maj. Gen. McMaster, but ... he's an absolutely true warrior as well, from his time as a captain all the way through his current rank. In terms of personal and moral courage, I've never seen an officer like that. ... I'm filling a big set of shoes here, but when you look at the key tasks and visions he's laid out here, we're on azimuth to continue with what he's doing. We're going to focus on leader development first and foremost because that's important as we move into the future."
McMaster, meanwhile, said he was sad to see his time at Fort Benning come to an end, but excited about Miller taking command.
"As we drive away from Fort Benning today, Katie and I will have mixed emotions," McMaster said.
"We'll miss Fort Benning and the Chattahoochee River Valley. We'll especially miss the great people with whom we have served and the great friends we have made over the past two years. We will regret leaving, but we will mainly be grateful - grateful for the great privilege of commanding this great team-of-teams that you see on this field and grateful that the Army has chosen Maj. Gen. Scott Miller to take Fort Benning and the MCoE to the next level."
During his remarks, Mangum praised McMaster's efforts.
"Over the last two years, (McMaster) has led this great organization and its commanders as he enhanced the training for all Infantry, Armor, Cavalry, Airborne and Ranger Soldiers and leaders," Mangum said. "He really led the way in the modernization of our maneuver capabilities throughout the Army, filling critical gaps in our warfighting functions. ... (His) focus on Soldiers, Families, local veterans and the surrounding community has been inspiring and unprecedented. His work to improve communication has helped to find efficient ways to deliver services and improve the quality of life of Soldiers, civilians, Family members and veterans."