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Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister leaving Fort Drum

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FORT DRUM — The post said goodbye to one of its commanders Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, 10th Mountain Division Assistant Division Commander for Operations, will leave for a new assignment within the Army’s Central Command, Tampa, Fla. He has served here since July 2009.

“Jeff is a soldier first, which is the key to understanding and serving those that you lead,” Fort Drum Maj. Gen. James L. Terry said to a crowd of about 200 soldiers and civilians during a Mountain Salute Farewell at Magrath Sports Complex.

“All positions, from team leaders to division commanders of our soldiers, have humility, act with selfless service, demonstrate integrity and are to be a disciplined example for any soldier to follow,” Gen. Terry said. “When you look back upon this great division, I firmly believe that these are the simple qualities of our leaders, from private to general, that have established the reputation for the 10th Mountain Division. Jeff, you have sustained that reputation.”

Gen. Bannister has deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and served in several battalion and brigade leadership positions since entering the Army in 1984. Before coming to post, he was the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.

In October 2010, he deployed with Division Headquarters to Regional Command South in Afghanistan. He completed his deployment this month and returned to Fort Drum.

Gen. Bannister said he was proud to have worked with such a top-quality team both overseas and at home. He said some of the success that Fort Drum has seen was because of a hard-working group of soldiers.

Gen. Bannister said he will leave post by the end of the week. He will travel to Florida with his wife, Tracy, and daughter Lindsey Jean.

“There is no doubt that Jeff’s efforts coordinating the regional commands campaign activities resulted in progress in some of the hardest-fought terrain in Afghanistan,” Gen. Terry said. “Our campaign took back terrain that once served as a Taliban stronghold and a Taliban safe haven. More importantly, there is no doubt that Jeff’s efforts saved the lives and limbs of service members and civilians.”

Lt. Col. Richard Clarke, who will be promoted to brigadier general, will replace Gen. Bannister and will be officially welcomed to Fort Drum in a ceremony next Tuesday.

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