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"One On One" with Fort Carson Commander - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

"One On One" with Fort Carson Commander

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

The Fourth Infantry Division on Fort Carson has been in existence now for 100 years, a milestone marked this past week, but it's been a celebration of service and sacrifice for the past year.

In addition to its 100th birthday, the mountain post has just brought on it's newest commander, Maj. Gen. Randy George, who has a long history with Fort Carson.

First, I asked him what it means to be the commanding general of an Army post with such a long, rich, heroic tradition.

"What's been most interesting to me is as much as the battlefield has changed, and maybe some of the equipment has changed, the heart and courage of our soldiers, I think, remains very much the same." George said.

General George knows all about the history of Fort Carson, this marks his fourth stop here in Colorado Springs. He is a West Point graduate, who has worked his way up through the Army's chain of command, from infantry officer, to platoon leader, brigade commander, deputy commanding general on Fort Carson, and most recently, a stint at the Pentagon, before returning to Colorado Springs.

As the new leader, he said his mission is clear, "My job here is to make sure our division, that our units here on Fort Carson are prepared if a combatant command, if we get orders from the Secretary to deploy", he told me.

There is no shortage of hot zones around the world. In fact, General George said it's as busy as it's ever been for his command staff and soldiers, There were indications earlier this year of a fresh and imminent deployment of Fort Carson soldiers to Afghanistan, but he said no official orders have come down from the Pentagon, yet.

As much as he can comment on future deployments of the thousands of men and women he commands, he told me, "I fully expect while I'm here and I've told other people this, that given what's going on in the world, we need to be ready and I would expect all of our units will deploy at some point."

So the training never ends, his troops are constantly engaged, never content he said. His belief is they must become experts at whatever the mission calls for.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, just returned from months long training with NATO forces and other allies in Europe, the Middle East remains volatile, and there's a new focus on Africa, where terror networks are beginning to set up shop in increasing numbers.

General George said the training reflects the ever changing battlefield,.

"We will also be very specific after we've done that training. We've got to give them very specific location training or things that are specific to a certain country or area, we do that," George said.

Humanitarian missions are also a part of what the Mountain Post is all about, with rapid response this year to Houston, the East coast, and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of deadly and destructive hurricanes.

General George said it is all a part of that mission statement, "They need to be ready for that mission, we've had to be ready for wildland fires," He said, "It that was to come up, so there's again, that's part of being really good at the basics and being able to respond to whatever our leadership calls us to do." 

Serving on the front lines of combat during his distinguished career, General George knows that making sure his troops are physically and mentally fit is important. His command mantra: "Mission, Soldier, Family, Team."

"One of the big things I talk about here is respect, treating everyone with dignity and respect," He said. "Everybody in my formation, wearing this uniform, that's the expectation that I have out of them."

The 53-year-old General, who has been married to his wife Patty since 1989. They met at West Point. She said his command style reflects his core beliefs.

"It's a mindset, it's a culture, it impacts confidence, it impacts stamina, it saves lives on the battlefield," He said.

The military runs in his family, his son is currently serving in Afghanistan. General George said he is humbled to have the opportunity to lead the men and women of the Fourth Infantry Division, as it embarks on it's next century of service.

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