FORT DRUM The post welcomed two new leaders as it waved farewell to a major part of its leadership of the past five years.
Formally introduced at a change of command ceremony on post Thursday afternoon was Col. Walter E. Piatt, the 10th Mountain Divisions new deputy commanding general for support, along with Col. Thomas D. Macdonald, the divisions new chief of staff.
Making his return to post after about a decade away, Col. Piatt said the collection of talent within the posts leadership reminded him of the Dream Team, the talented U.S. mens basketball team that won an Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Its like Ive been given an opportunity to play basketball with Michael Jordan, he said. Its very intimidating, but I wouldnt miss it for the world.
Col. Piatt, who replaces Brig. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, previously led the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. Ga. He also has been a part of deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the post and 10th Mountain Division commander, credited Col. Piatt with training the next generation of soldiers.
Col. Macdonald, who arrives on post only a few weeks after returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, has previous experience in a wide variety of leadership and educational roles.
Gen. Milley said the selection was made after what he described as a rigorous nationwide search, adding Col. Macdonald had the right combination of skills and background for the position.
Also recognized was Col. Erik C. Peterson, who over the past five years has served as the divisions chief of staff and as head of the posts Combat Aviation Brigade. He will become the deputy commanding general of the Army Cadet Command, Fort Knox, Ky.
Gen. Milley said that in times of change and uncertainty in the division, Col. Peterson was the rock upon which we all rested.
In his remarks, Col. Macdonald said that Col. Petersons work had given the division a strong reputation throughout the Army.
Taking to the podium, Col. Peterson thanked his fellow officers and said he was humbled by the posts soldiers, whom he described as intelligent warriors.
You embody everything that is right with our nation and our Army, Col. Peterson said.