Fort Benning welcomes new commander to 316th Cavalry Brigade

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJune 19, 2014 

The 316th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Benning welcomes a new commander Friday during a change of command ceremony on Brave Rifles Field.

Col. William L. Thigpen, a native of Hampton, Va., assumes command from Col. David S. Davidson, who has been reassigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he will serve as the operations officer for U.S. Army North.

Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, said the post is fortunate to welcome a great commander. “He has broad experience and has earned a reputation as a visionary, compassionate leader,” McMaster said in a statement. “There is simply no one better to lead this great brigade and build on this great team’s accomplishments.”

Thigpen arrived at Fort Benning after studying at the National War College at Fort Lesley McNair in Washington. Before attending the college, Thigpen served at the Pentagon as an aide to the vice chief of staff of the Army.

Thigpen was commissioned a second lieutenant as an armor officer upon graduation from Virginia State University in 1991 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration. He also earned a master’s degree in business from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Since completing the Armor Officer Basic Course in fall 1992, he has held assignments at Camp Casey, Korea, and the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. Other overseas assignments include deployments in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Some of his awards and badges include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge and Senior Parachutist Badge.

McMaster recognized Davidson for leading the distinguished and storied brigade that’s critical to strengthening the tactical and technical expertise of the Army.

“He’s done a tremendous job in transitioning a cavalry brigade into a combined arms brigade that has a profound impact on our Army,” the post commander said.

As part of the U.S. Armor School, the 316th Cavalry Regiment conducts 10 courses for armor and cavalry enlisted soldiers and officers. They are trained in reconnaissance, maintenance, weapons systems [Note] , combatives [/NOTE] and unmanned ground and [Note] unmanned [/NOTE] aerial vehicles.

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