FORT BRAGG, North Carolina -- A historic change in leadership took place on Tuesday at Fort Bragg. The post has its first female Commanding General of U.S. Army Forces Command.
Army General Robert B. "Abe" Abrams, the current commander on the post, has left the Army post to become commander of United States Forces Korea.
He has relinquished command to Lieutenant General Laura J. Richardson, who will be the first female Army officer to officially hold that position.
Richardson had been serving as the deputy commanding general of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and will now serve as acting commander.
"Connie and I leave here today knowing that the command is in great hands. Laura Richardson and this FORSCOM team are going to continue doing what we do best and that's all about readiness until my successor arrives," said Abrams.
FORSCOM is the largest command in the U.S. Army, representing 770,000 soldiers and civilians.
Its mission is "to prepare conventional U.S. Army forces to provide sustained flow of trained and ready land power to Combatant Commanders in defense of the nation at home and abroad."
Lt. Gen. Richardson is a graduate of Metropolitan State College and was commissioned in 1986.
Much of her award-winning Army career has been spent in aviation, including stints in Korea and Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. She earned her pilot's license at age 16.
Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley hosted Tuesday afternoon's relinquish of command ceremony and provided remarks.
"You're going to be in command of this command for a considerable length of time. It will be measured in months, not days or weeks. We know you are going to do a great job, as we know everyone in FORSCOM is going to do as great a job for Laura Richardson as they did for Abe Abrams," said Milley.
Fort Bragg-based FORSCOM to get its first female commander