Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero will relinquish command of Fort Benning and the United States Infantry Center to Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter in a change of command ceremony to be held this morning on Soldiers Field at Patriot Park.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Soldiers Field is located next to the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
The Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced Friday that President Barack Obama has nominated Barbero for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as Commander, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and Commander, NATO Training Mission-Iraq, United States Central Command.
Ferriter, currently the effects coordinator for the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., is no stranger to Fort Benning. In addition to attending the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses as well as Ranger school here, he has served three tours at Benning, according to post public affairs.
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From 1991 to 1994 he was the regimental S-5 (Civil Military Operations), later Plans and Special Operations officer, later S-3 (Operations), 3rd Battalion, later Regimental S-3 (Operations), 75th Ranger Regiment, here and in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope.
From 1996 to 1998, he was the commander, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. And from 2001 to 2004 he was the commander of the 11th Infantry Regiment.
“Major General Mike Ferriter is an outstanding Soldier, Infantryman and leader and is the perfect choice to lead Fort Benning as it develops into the Maneuver Center of Excellence,” Barbero said in a release. “He brings a wealth of experience and a diverse background with service in TRADOC, FORSCOM, the Ranger Regiment and, most recently in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have served with Mike several times over the years and I know that he and Margie will have a significantly positive impact on the Fort Benning community.”
Barbero said he'll miss Fort Benning and the surrounding community, calling his time here, "the most enjoyable assignment I’ve ever had."
Please return to ledger-enquirer.com later this afternoon for more on this story.