The rainy skies cleared just in time for the March 21 ceremony as Gen. Michael X. Garrett assumed command of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg’s Main Post Flag Pole.
FORSCOM is the largest command in the U.S. Army with almost 750,000 Soldiers and serves as the Army’s force provider to combatant commanders worldwide. Forces Command trains, mobilizes, deploys, sustains, transforms and reconstitutes conventional forces, providing relevant and ready land power in defense of the nation, both at home and abroad.
Garrett, who is returning to Fort Bragg for the third time in his military career, said it is good to be back in North Carolina and he looks forward to leading FORSCOM into the future.
“My last two positions were at CENTCOM and U.S. Army Central, so I have spent the last six years as an end-user of FORSCOM Soldiers and units,” he said. “Those Soldiers, those units have universally been well-trained, well-equipped and well-led. So, I know first-hand the great work that FORSCOM does every day.”
Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley passed the FORSCOM colors to Garrett during the assumption of command ceremony and praised Garrett’s competence, leadership and his character during his remarks.
“Mike, you’re the right officer to lead Forces Command and we expect that you’re going to lead it with distinction, as you have in every single job you’ve ever done in our Army,” Milley said. “You’re leading the most important command of our Army. The organizations you’ve lead in the past have always excelled and we expect no less from you in this assignment.”
Both Milley and Garrett thanked Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson for her leadership as the acting commanding general of FORSCOM since October 2018 — all while continuing to maintain her duties as the deputy commanding general.
“Although it’s Mike Garrett’s day, I want to recognize and thank Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson,” Milley said. “For the last six months, Laura’s been leading Forces Command … she has done an incredible job leading our nation’s greatest command. She has absolutely been superb.”
Garrett received his fourth star in a promotion ceremony preceeding the assumption of command. He credited his father, who received the Silver Star for his actions in Vietnam, for setting the example of what a leader was supposed to be. He said that, like most sons, he has spent his life trying to live up to his father’s expectations.
“I am the son of great parents,” said Garrett. “My dad, Ed Garrett, was a Soldier; a command sergeant major in the United States Army. As I take command today, I am reminded of our time in the 24th Infantry Division when I was a second lieutenant and he was my division command sergeant major. He outranked me then and today, even with this promotion, he outranks me.”
He said that, to him, leadership is very personal.
“What I promise you is my very best effort every day and that is all that I ask of each of you in return,” said Garrett. “Together there is nothing that we cannot do.”