25th ID greets new commander

| February 26, 2010 | 0 Comments

Spc. Jesus Aranda
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux is welcomed back to the ‘Tropic Lightning’ division

The 25th Infantry Division change of command ceremony reviewing party circulates Sills Field on Schofield Barracks, Feb. 19, prior to Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., the outgoing commanding general, 25th Inf. Div., relinquishing command of the division to Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux.

The 25th Infantry Division change of command ceremony reviewing party circulates Sills Field on Schofield Barracks, Feb. 19, prior to Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., the outgoing commanding general, 25th Inf. Div., relinquishing command of the division to Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — With the majority of the 25th Infantry Division’s Hawaii-based brigades and battalions in attendance, the collective voice of “Tropic Lightning” boomed louder than ever as members of the U.S. Army’s Pacific division bid aloha to their former leader and welcomed their new commanding general to Hawaii.

Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux assumed command of the 25th Infantry Division during a change of command ceremony at Sills Field, here, Feb. 19, during which Maj. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., the outgoing commanding general, relinquished command of the division.

The reviewing party, accompanied by Col. Thomas Guthrie (front of vehicle), the commander of troops for the ceremony and the 25th Inf. Div. chief of staff, consisted of Caslen, Champoux, and Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific Command, who inspected the formations of “Tropic Lightning” Soldiers.

Formations representing the many units of the 25th ID at Schofield Barracks, assembled for the ceremony, which was attended by local community members, veterans, families and guests.

The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, currently deployed to northern Iraq, was represented by its rear detachment.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, the commanding general for U.S. Army Pacific Command, and the host commander for the ceremony, thanked Caslen for his service and welcomed Champoux and his family to the division.

“As is the Army way, as we say goodbye to a great Army couple, (and) we say hello to another Army couple, who are not strangers to this great division,” said Mixon, of Champoux’s previous assignments with the 25th ID. “I am sure his experience here, as the assistant division commander for the 25th ID, and his deployments to Afghanistan have prepared him well to take command of this division as they prepare for their future missions.”

Champoux thanked the Hawaiian community and the staff of the 25th ID for their welcome and recognized the efforts of the division’s Soldiers throughout the unit’s famed history.

“It’s so very good to be back with you and back in Hawaii, and to have the opportunity to serve with you,” said Champoux, speaking to the formation of Soldiers and guests. “We collectively, and I personally, stand on the shoulders of the deeds and sacrifices of those who’ve come before us.”

Caslen spoke on the successes and challenges that the division faced during the division’s recent deployment to northern Iraq, and praised the dedication and duty of his troops.

“I would be remiss for not recognizing and thanking the tremendous men and women you see on the field today,” Caslen said. “History will gloriously record what they have accomplished, not only for our country, but for the men and women of the free world.”

Before the ceremony, Caslen was awarded a Legion of Merit Medal for his leadership of the division. Mixon presented the award, as well as an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal to Michele Caslen, for her work with military spouses during the division’s recent deployment.

Champoux’s previous assignments with the 25th ID include assistant division commander for operations, 25th Inf. Div. (Light) and commander, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment “Wolfhounds.” When the division deployed to Afghanistan, he served as the deputy commanding general for Operations, Combined Joint Task Force 76.

He later returned to Afghanistan and served as both deputy commander for Security, and deputy chief of staff for Operations, International Security and Assistance Force.

Champoux joins the 25th ID ohana, or family, following a position as the chief legislative liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Army.

In his next assignment, Caslen will serve as the commanding general for the Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

A salute battery from 3rd Bn., 7th Field Artillery Regiment, fired 13 rounds in honor of Caslen during his final ceremony as the 25th ID commanding general.

Tags: ,

Category: Leadership, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *