Brig. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, an Armor officer, is poised to take over command of Fort Benning and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, an Army official confirmed Sunday.
Wesley will replace Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, who is awaiting his next assignment. It has been reported by the Washington Post he will assume leadership of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command.
The change of command is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Marshall Auditorium at McGinnis-Wickam Hall. Fort Benning has not officially announced that Wesley will be the new commanding general.
Wesley comes to Fort Benning from the Pentagon where he has been deputy director, program analysis and evaluation, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for G-8. He has been in that position for almost a year. Prior to that he was deputy commanding general, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.
Wesley was commissioned as an Armor officer in 1986 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
This will not be Wesley’s first assignment in Georgia. In 1998, he was assigned to the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, where he served as a battalion and brigade operations officer and the brigade executive officer. In September 2002, he deployed with 2nd Brigade to Operation Desert Spring in Kuwait, followed by Operation Iraqi Freedom, where the 2nd Brigade led the 3rd Infantry Division’s attack into Baghdad.
Wesley’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He also has earned the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Ranger tab.
He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Troy State University.
Wesley continues a trend that started when the Armor and Infantry schools were merged into the Maneuver Center of Excellence in 2011. The Army has alternated commanders between those who have Infantry and Armor backgrounds.
Lt. Gen. Bob Brown, an Infantryman, was the first commander of the Maneuver Center and was the one responsible for completing the merger that was ordered as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process. He was followed by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who came from the Armor side.
Miller is an Infantryman, though he has spent most of his career in the Special Operations and Special Forces community.