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Commander invites Obama for visit
Cucolo's priority on training for year
Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo gazes out his office window at a statue of Rocky, the 3rd ID’s mascot, in the Marne Garden. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones
Readiness for up-coming deployments, preparations for the 5th Brigade Combat Team and maybe an opportunity to host America’s new commander in chief top the 2009 to-do list for Fort Stewart’s commanding officer.
Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo said Thursday his number one priority for the year will be training his soldiers before being called, once again, to serve in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan.
“The division headquarters, 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Kelly Hill at Fort Benning; we all have a rendezvous with Iraq sometime this fall,” the general said. “Getting ready for that is clearly number one.”
Next on his list, the general said he will prep other 3rd Infantry Division units for possible deployments and continuing to support the 1st BCT in its CCMRF (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive consequence management response force) mission.
As the senior commander of the installation, Cucolo said he plans to address the fort’s housing and amenity issues, as the division prepares to welcome nearly 10,000 new soldiers and dependents.
Members of the 5th BCT are expected to begin arriving to Fort Stewart in April 2010.
Besides that, Cucolo said he is hoping for a chance to host a visit from his new boss, President Barack Obama, and top military officials in his administration.
“We submitted a list of dates that we would like a range of senior leaders to come down and visit us,” Cucolo said. “We would be honored to have the president down here.”
Cucolo said he has also requested a visit from the new chief of the Army and the vice chief.
But, according to Cucolo, 2009 is not about him or Fort Stewart’s top leaders. Instead, he said, “2009 is the year of the non-commissioned officer”.
“They are the muscle that pumps the life-blood through this organization. They are the enforcers of standards,” he said. “Officers set standards, sergeants enforce them. They are to me the example of professional warriors and 99.9 percent of them live up to it every day.”
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