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July 27, 2012

People

86th Training Division holds change of command at Fort McCoy

By Capt. Greta Fennel, 86th Training Division Public Affairs Officer

FORT McCOY, Wis. — Soldiers of the 86th Training Division (Operations) bid farewell to their division commander, Brig. Gen. (Promotable) Daniel L. York, and welcomed their new commander, Brig. Gen. George R. Thompson, during a July 14 change-of-command ceremony at Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: Maj. Gen. David W. Puster (left), commanding general of the 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, Ky., passes the colors of the 86th Training Division (Operations) to Brig. Gen. George R. Thompson, the incoming commander of the 86th Training Division (Operations). Photo by Spc Alyssa A. Blom
Maj. Gen. David W. Puster (left), commanding general of the 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, Ky., passes the colors of the 86th Training Division (Operations) to Brig. Gen. George R. Thompson, the incoming commander of the 86th Training Division (Operations). (Photo by Spc Alyssa A. Blom )

Commanding general of the 84th Training Command, Maj. Gen. David Walden Puster, presided over the ceremony. He gave a brief history of the 86th Training Division, explaining that it was first constituted in 1917, in support of World War I. It performed missions throughout the mid-1990s and is dubbed the “Black Hawk Division.”

York was second to take command of the premiere training division when it re-emerged as a unit at Fort McCoy in 2009. As Puster stated in the ceremony, the 86th Training Division has continued to develop and grow into a top tier headquarters under a truly visionary leader.

“As one chapter closes, another exciting one begins,” Puster said of the incoming and outgoing commanders.

Thompson brings 37 years of experience to the 86th Training Division.

“It is a great responsibility, but also a privilege and an honor to assume command,” he said to the field of Soldiers. “I am proud of the courage, confidence, and commitment of our Soldiers, both to the ideals that make this country great and to making a difference in our world.”

York addressed the Soldiers of the 86th Training Division with a heavy heart and pride.

“When I look out into your ranks, my heart is full of gratitude,” he said. “I cannot believe the sands of time have poured out so quickly and that this glorious adventure for me must come to an end.”

Thompson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1974 to begin his military service and obtained the rank of sergeant after two years of active duty. He joined the Texas National Guard in 1984, attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in July 1985.

Thompson was the deputy commanding general of the 84th Training Command before taking command of the 86th Training Division.

Thompson is a Global Health and Safety manager for INVISTA in Stafford, Texas, where he is also a professional engineer in the State of Texas and a certified safety professional.

More information about Thompson is available online at http://www.usar.army.mil/ourstory/leadership/Pages/DCG.aspx.
York began his military career after receiving his commission from the U. S. Military Academy (West Point) as an Infantry Officer in 1981. He decided to become a citizen-Soldier and joined the Army Reserve in 1987. He had served as commander of the 86th Training Division since June 2011.

York has been nominated for appointment to major general and assignment as commanding general for the U.S. Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command, Salt Lake City.

More information about York is available online at http://www.mccoy.army.mil/vnewspaper/newspaper/realmccoy/06102011/86th.htm.

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