Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, along with the 3rd Infantry Division, saw another change of command last month.
In the past decade, we have seen our division general switch every one to two years. The short timeframe does not reflect on the performance of the general, but it is a policy and strategy used by the Army.
A major general may only hold that rank for five years; if they do not change positions within five years, then they may be asked to retire. This is one reason for the change of command, as it is important to share their expertise in other assignments. Their command experience is put to use in their next assignment and brings a fresh perspective to a different segment of the Army.
Fort Stewart has had soldiers deployed for a decade, and they have benefitted from the perspective of several different commanders.
Recently, we said farewell to Maj. Gen. Robert B. Abrams and welcomed Maj. Gen. John M. Murray to Fort Stewart. Abrams received a presidential nomination to the rank of lieutenant general and was assigned as a senior military assistant to the secretary of defense. This appointment for Abrams could not have come at a better time for our community, as he is very aware of the strategic importance of Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield.
The next few years of political and budgetary unrest in dealing with our military are crucial for our area. We need our base to remain strong and intact. We now have a friend who has been with Fort Stewart/HAAF since 2011. He knows this region and its people. He understands the inner workings of Fort Stewart/HAAF. There still is a struggle ahead of us to maintain our base, but we have a very important friend in the Pentagon.
Our new commander also brings a connection to the Pentagon. Murray comes to us from Washington, D.C., where he was the director of force management. Murray understands the inner workings of the Pentagon and hopefully can help steer us in the right direction.
So again, the time to get involved is now, not later. We have a lot of commanders, past and present, who can help us protect our base and community, and this is due in large part to the hospitality, generosity and strategic thinking of our elected leaders and the Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter. We need to give them the support and show that this community will stand strong alongside our base and its soldiers.
Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter (SEGAFOFSH) is the coastal region’s leading membership organization supporting the diverse interests of the communities, the private sector and the military on issues of mission enhancement. For more information and to get involved, go to www.friendsofftstewartandhunter.com.
Hughes is the finance assistant for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce.