Barbero to replace Wojdakowski as Benning commander

Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, currently the chief of strategic operations for U.S. forces in Iraq, will become the 48th commander of Fort Benning and commandant of the Infantry School in late August, replacing the retiring Maj. Gen. Walt Wojdakowski.

Though no change of command date has been set, Wojdakowski confirmed earlier this week that his retirement date is Sept. 1.

Barbero, a 32-year Army veteran, served as the deputy director of regional operations for the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. before being assigned to Iraq in April 2007.

He was commissioned upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1976.

His subsequent assignments included tours with the 1st Cavalry Division, the 2nd, 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions, the 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Mountain Division.

He commanded the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st at Fort Campbell, Ky. and was commander of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Barbero participated in Operation Just Cause, the 1989 invasion of Panama. In 2003, he served as assistant division commander of the 4th ID during that unit's deployment to Iraq.

He became commanding general of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La. in April 2004. In November 2005 he was promoted to major general and was reassigned to the Joint Staff in June 2006.

Wojdakowski, who had been the deputy commanding general of V Corps, United States Army Europe, succeeded Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley on Aug. 12, 2005. Wojdakowski, like Freakley a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, was no stranger to Fort Benning having served as commander of the 1st Brigade, 11th Infantry Regiment from June 1993 through August 1995. He became Maj. Gen. Carl Ernst's deputy as Benning commander in January 1997 and remained in that position until September 1998.