Minutes after he was promoted to major general, H.R. McMaster Jr. assumed command of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning today during a ceremony at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
“Veterans, soldiers, I am proud to be the newest member of this team,” McMaster told hundreds of community leaders and soldiers gathered at Soldier Field.
McMaster, a native of Philadelphia, took over the command from Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, who has been promoted to lieutenant general and reasssigned to command I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
The new commander recognized Joe Galloway, an award-winning journalist and former McClatchy columnist who co-authored the book “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” and an Iraqi general who supported the United States in rooting out terrorists in Tal Afar.
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Galloway described McMaster as a superb soldier, an officer he has known since 1991 in the Gulf War.
“He is one of those rare birds who is a warrior and scholar,” Galloway said after the ceremony. “He has a Ph.D in military history. He fouught the most significant tank battle of the Gulf War as a captain. He wiped out a brigade of T-72 tanks in 21 minutes without a single American casualty.”
McMaster is good in all kinds of directions as a soldier. In Galloway's last outing as a journalist, he said McMaster also had success leading the 3rd Armored Cavalry in Iraq in 2006.
“He had the most significant success of clearing the entire city of Al-Qaeda," he said. "They ran that town when he came in and he cleaned them out,” Galloway said.