JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, –
U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) conducted a change of command ceremony at Staff Post Field on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston July 8.
Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commanding general, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, presided over the ceremony in which Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan relinquished command to Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson.
In keeping with military tradition, Buchanan relinquished command by passing the U.S. Army North’s colors, which symbolize command, to O’Shaughnessy, who then passed them to Richardson, thus endowing her with the authority of command, and formally recognizing her as the commanding general of U.S. Army North.
“We are excited for you to assume command and continue the legacy left before you,” O’Shaughnessy said of Richardson. “NORTHCOM stands ready to assist you and your team in every way and you are taking over an accomplished unit that is eager to respond to today’s security challenges. I know you are exactly the right person for the job.”
Richardson most recently served at U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she was the deputy commanding general.
“As I take command today, there’s a long, storied lineage of Army North (Fifth Army),” Richardson said. “The Army North mission as the Army Service Component Command to USNORTHCOM carries numerous critically important responsibilities to our nation’s security and I am ready for the challenges we’ll face with this great team before you.”
Army North is comprised of more than 600 service members and 330 civilians, all partnering to conduct homeland defense, support civil authorities, and cooperate with Canadian and Mexican militaries in order to protect the United States and its interests.
Buchanan assumed command of U.S. Army North August 2016 and is retiring after a 37-year career.
“Commanding ARNORTH and Fifth Army has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Buchanan said. “It really is a time for a change in leadership and it’s changes like this that keep innovation and initiative high. Change is important to the health and well-being of this great command and I cannot think of a better officer to pass the reins to.”