USASOC welcomes new commanding general

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2008/November/081101-02.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Nov. 3, 2008) — The headquarters for the Army’s Special Operations Forces will welcome a new commanding general in a change of command ceremony scheduled for Friday, Nov. 7, at Meadows Memorial Parade Field here.

At the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner will relinquish command of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, former commanding general of Special Operations Command Central.

USASOC is the Army component of the U.S. Special Operations Command and coordinates the actions of all Army Special Forces, Rangers, Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations and Special Operations Aviation. Through its seven major subordinate commands and units, it trains and maintains these Special Operations Forces for deployment to combatant commands worldwide.

Mulholland was born in Clovis, N.M., but grew up in Bethesda, Md. He graduated with a BA in history from Furman University in 1978, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant of Infantry.

Mulholland is married to the former Miriam Mitchell of Clemson, S.C. They have four children, Mrs. Moira Dickinson, Capt. John F. Mulholland III, Miss Maureen Mulholland and Joseph-Michael Mulholland.

Wagner assumed command on Dec. 6, 2005 and is the longest serving commander in USASOC history. He will be formally retiring at 3 pm following the change of command ceremony.
 

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2008/November/081107-01.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Nov. 7, 2008) – The U.S. Army Special Operations Command bade farewell to a familiar face and welcomed a new one during a change of command ceremony on Meadows Memorial Field here Nov. 7.

Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, relinquished command of USASOC to Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. during the ceremony. Mulholland comes to USASOC after serving as the commanding general for Special Operations Command Central at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

“There couldn’t be a better guy taking charge right now,” Wagner said about Mulholland. “The one thing that makes me feel good about leaving is that I know a good guy is taking over, and he will do all the right things for these Soldiers and their Families.”

Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, served as the officiating officer for the ceremony.

“As we stand here in the shadows of Bronze Bruce and Dick Meadows, one can’t help but be impressed by the rich Special Operations Forces heritage displayed here,” Olson said, speaking of the unit memorials in Meadows Plaza. “Not only are there many present, but also in the story that is placed out across the granite tablets.”

Farewell to a mentor

Olson also had kind words to say about Wagner’s service to the command.

“This is an important occasion as we gather to witness the transfer of authority from one commander to another,” he said. “As we recognize a great SOF Soldier, Lieutenant General Bob Wagner, for his leadership over the last three years, we thank him and his wife 'P.J.' for giving so much of themselves to the care and support of this command and their Families.”

Many of the people present had been influenced in one way or another by Wagner, Olson said.

“General Wagner took command of USASOC during a time of unprecedented demand for Special Operations warriors because of unprecedented success by them,” he said. “On any given day throughout the years of his command, including today, the Soldiers of (USASOC) … have been deployed to more than 40 countries conducting direct and indirect actions across the entire spectrum of conflicts.”

USASOC makes up the largest component of USSOCOM, representing more than 50 percent of the command and “contains our broadest array of skills, missions and inventory,” Olson said. Under Wagner’s leadership, Army Special Operations Forces has increased in size 36 percent in order to meet a growing demand.

As some of his last words to the Soldiers and Civilians of the command, Wagner spoke of how proud he was of the opportunity to serve with them.

“Service is something you do for someone else,” Wagner said. “In our case it’s for our country, for our teams, for our values. You’re putting your lives at risk to do what’s right, yet there’s not a moment of hesitation or a moment of lacking. There’s not an organization that’s represented here which goes out on the field to see what happens. They go out there to achieve a purpose, and they’ve been tremendously successful in that purpose.”

A new leader steps up

USASOC now welcomes a proven leader in Lt. Gen. Mulholland as its new commanding general, Olson said.

“If you’ve read his bio, that says what he’s done; if you’ve spent any time with him you know who he is,” Olson said. “What he’s done gives us a sense of his capabilities, but who he is nails our high level of confidence in him, that he will meet our highest expectations.”

Mulholland said he is deeply appreciative and honored to take command of USASOC.

“This is the American Army’s Special Operations Force, our countries’ Special Operations Force,” Mulholland said. “This is unapologetically the most capable and effective warrior combat force on the planet in history. Of that I have no doubt. I am aware of my responsibilities to each of you and the organizations you represent.”

He also promised his full devotion in living up to that responsibility.

“The stories that we know of your actions are unbelievable, and the only unfortunate thing is they are not more widely known to the people of this great country,” he said. “But we know of your sacrifices. I know of my responsibility to insure you have what you need, resources, training, whatever it may be so you can take the fight to our enemy.”

Mulholland assured Wagner he would do his best to “live up to the standard which you’ve so highly set.”

“No one has carried more or done more to take care of the men and women of this command,” Mulholland said. “That says a lot because there have been great men who have commanded this organization, and now I’m humbled to do so.”

For his departing words to Mulholland, Wagner reminded him of the importance of the Soldiers on the ground who will rely on his decisions.

“Whatever decisions we make, it’s never successful unless the people on the ground make it happen,” Wagner said. “The Soldiers out on the battlefield are in fact the strength of the command. If there’s one thing the commanding general of USASOC knows every day that there are no better people in the world more committed to what they are doing than you, the Soldiers of USASOC.”

History of a legacy

Mulholland, a native of Maryland, graduated with a bachelor’s in History from Furman University in 1978 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. His first assignment was with the 193rd Infantry Brigade in the former Panama Canal Zone, where he served as a rifle platoon leader, weapons platoon leader and company executive officer.

His next move brought him to Fort Bragg, N.C., where he joined the ranks of the Green Berets after attending the Special Forces Qualification Course. Upon graduating in September 1983, then-Capt. Mulholland joined the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Since joining Special Forces, Mulholland has commanded at the team, company, battalion and group levels. In addition, he has served in other Special Operations assignments, including Special Operations Command South in Panama and as the operations officer for the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.

During the opening days of Operation Enduring Freedom, Mulholland commanded the Joint Special Operations Task Force-North (Task Force Dagger). He also commanded the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West in the initial campaign of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He later served as the chief of the Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait, as commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command and as deputy commanding general of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Mulholland has earned a Master of Military Arts and Science in History while attending the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College.

His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

Wagner, who assumed command on Dec. 6, 2005, was the longest-serving commander in USASOC history. He officially retired after more than 38 years of service during a ceremony later in the day.

DSC_0194.jpg

Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., incoming USASOC commander, receives the unit colors from Adm. Eric T. Olson, USSOCOM commander, during the USASOC change of command ceremony Nov. 7. During the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, passed command to Mulholland. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)
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Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, speaks with Chief Warrant Officer 5 Edwin Sugai after the USASOC change of command ceremony Nov. 7. (Photo by Walter Sokalski, USASOC PAO)
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From left to right, Col. Andrew Milani, USASOC chief of staff, Command Sgt. Major Parry Baer, USASOC command sergeant major, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., incoming USASOC commander, and Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, do a final review of the troops during a USASOC change of command ceremony Nov. 7. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Baker, USASOC PAO)
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Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, salutes the colors during his final formation as USASOC commanding general. (Photo by Walter Sokalski Jr., USASOC PAO)
 

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IMG_5215.jpg

Adm. Eric T. Olson (right), USSOCOM commander, stands with Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, and Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. (left), incoming USASOC commander, during the USASOC change of command ceremony Nov. 7. (Photo by Walter Sokalski Jr., USASOC PAO)
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Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASOC PAO)
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Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., incoming USASOC commander, receives the unit colors from Adm. Eric T. Olson, USSOCOM commander, during the USASOC change of command ceremony Nov. 7. During the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Robert W. Wagner, outgoing USASOC commander, passed command to Mulholland. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Baker, USASOC PAO)
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Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., USASOC commanding general, has his newly acquired rank pinned on by his wife, Miriam, during a promotion ceremony Nov. 7. Mulholland assumed command of USASOC in a ceremony following his promotion. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Baker, USASOC PAO
 

0699

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Pardon my question as I don't understand Army policies...

I notice that the outgoing commander (General Wagner) is wearing a tan beret. I understand he's a former member of the Ranger Regiment, but I thought only people who are with the Regiment could wear the tan beret. Are people outside the Regiment allowed to wear the tan beret? Who else besides someone in General Wagner's position would ba allowed to do so?

Edit: I'm not questioning his right to wear the tan beret, just curious.
 

car

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It has been my experience that those assigned to USASOC or SOCOM HQs can wear whichever flavor of beret they have earned the right to wear.
 

0699

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Interesting. After all the flap over taking the black berets away from the Ranger Regiment, I figured they'd be very protective of the tan beret.
 

275ANGER!

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Interesting. After all the flap over taking the black berets away from the Ranger Regiment, I figured they'd be very protective of the tan beret.

RTB fags, the ones that run Ranger School wear it. There is a little inside joke because some of the VWs and failures from RIP end up in RTB so they get their tan beret even if they failed or quit RIP.
 
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