VIDEO: 3rd ID change of command
The 3rd Infantry Division is now in very capable hands, according to the XVIII Airborne Corps commander.
Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the corps commanding general, presided over the change of command of the Marne Division from the outgoing Maj. Gen. Charles Costanza to Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie.
Maj. Gen. Norrie most recently had been the commanding general for the 7th Army Tr ai n i ng Command in Grafenwoeher, Germany. Soon, he’ll be leading thousands of 3rd ID soldiers back to Germany as a show of force and resolve against Russian aggression in Europe.
“This division could not be in greater hands,” Lt. Gen. Donahue said of Maj. Gen. Norrie.
Maj. Gen. Norrie also has been the deputy commanding general for maneuver with the 1st Cavalry Division and was commander of a brigade combat team with the 4th Infantry Division. It was there at Fort Carson, Colo., he crossed paths with Lt. Gen. Donahue, where he was the deputy commanding general for maneuver.
Lt. Gen. Donahue called Maj. Gen. Norrie “an incredible warrior” who will take the division to new heights as a fighting force.
“He’s tough. He’s innovative. He’s relentless,” Lt. Gen. Donahue continued.
The division’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team has completed its modernization cycle, getting brand new vehicles and equipment, including upgrade Abrams main battle tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. The brigade, along with the division headquarters and the Sustainment Brigade, are scheduled to deploy in the coming weeks to Germany for a nine-month rotation.
“I know you’re going to take incredible care of the soldiers and make sure they are ready to go anywhere in the world and defeat anybody,” Lt. Gen. Donahue said.
Maj. Gen. Costanza thanked his family for their understanding and their patience during multiple deployments. He also thanked his father, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
Costanza also offered his praise and gratitude for the soldiers under his command.
“I have been blessed to serve with you guys the last two years and seen the incredible things you have done,” he said. “Thank you for your selfless service to this great nation.”
Maj. Gen. Norrie lauded his predecessor for the division’s accomplishments under his leadership.
“We’re excited to build on this legacy, and continue the proud traditions of this division,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Donahue also noted the division’s “incredible history” and pointed out the division is playing an important role today, with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team getting rushed to Europe to deter any further Russian aggression.
“We had to send a message across the world to make sure everybody knew that nobody, nobody, could do anything else in Europe,” he said. “We know that the other side took notice. It was remarkable what they did.”
That the 3rd ID’s 1st Brigade moved rapidly and began its mission in Europe in such short order is a testament to Maj. Gen. Costanza’s leadership, the XVIII Airborne Corps commander said.
“What Charlie has done over these two years is make sure he has prepared people and warfighting,” Lt. Gen. Donahue said. “Leaders get paid to solve difficult problems. That’s what Charlie is going to do, time and time again.”
Lt. Gen. Donahue also praised Costanza for other efforts he made, such as bestowing a Purple Heart 100 years after the fact to the family of World War I soldier 1st Lt. Thomas Beasley and presenting another combat veteran, 107-year-old Staff Sgt. Harold Nelson, with a Silver Star for his actions during World War II with the 3rd ID.
Costanza’s next assignment has not been announced but he was presented the Distinguished Service Medal prior to relinquishing command of the division. Former 3rd ID command sergeant major Quentin Fenderson, who retired a few weeks ago, also was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal.
“I will continue to be a dog-faced soldier,” Maj. Gen. Costanza said.
More photos below.