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Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell assumes command of 7th Inf. Div. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Lanza: "For a soldier, it is truly the best place to live"

Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza relinquishes command to Maj. Gen. Terry R. Ferrell at the 7th Infantry Division change of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Feb. 4. Photo courtesy of 7th ID Facebook

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As Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza relinquished command of the 7th Infantry Division in Tuesday's ceremony, he first thanked those that have helped him.

Then he praised the man that's replacing him - Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell.

"Today, I'm honored to hand over the reins to a tremendous leader and a wonderful Army family," Lanza said. "Major general Terry Ferrell is a proven combat leader and the caliber of officer that will lead the division to greater heights and accomplishments."

Ferrell, who began his military career 30 years ago, takes over the command of the Bayonet Division.

"We're excited," Ferrell said Tuesday at a 35-minute change-of-command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "We want to be part of this team."

Ferrell's most recent assignment was as commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti, Africa.

>>> Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza thanks his family for all the years of support at the 7th Inf. Div. command change Feb. 4 at JBLM. Photo credit: Gail Wood

"The Ferrells are an incredible team," Lanza said, referring to Ferrell and his wife, Robbie. "I know they will soon endear themselves to you, our soldiers, families and the members of our surrounding communities. Terry, Robbie, welcome to Joint Base Lewis-McChord."

Lanza, who was named the 7th ID commander 15 months ago, will succeed Lt. Gen. Robert Brown Thursday as commander of Lewis-McChord's I Corps. Lanza is pleased to get another assignment at JBLM.

In his 30-plus years of service in the Army, Lanza has lived in many places, seen many military communities. But he said he'll always have a special place for JBLM.

"None can compare to the support and friendship of the South Sound," Lanza said. "For a soldier, it is truly the best place to live."

Brown complimented Lanza for his nearly year-and-a-half service as commander of 7th ID and his ability to help fulfill the mission.

"Success doesn't just happen," Brown said. "Steve, you should be awfully proud of the accomplishments of the 7th ID."

Lanza said the ingredients of success for the 7th ID has included working together, of cooperation and teamwork.

"From day one, this division has been about the team," Lanza said. "We set forth to build a ready and resilient combined arms team of teams, focused on mission, solider and family readiness."

>>> Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell assumed command of the 7th Inf. Div. at JBLM, Feb. 4. Photo credit: Gail Wood

As commander of the 7th ID, Ferrell will oversee the training, deployment and welfare of more than 20,000 soldiers in seven brigades at JBLM.

Lanza summarized the mission of the 7th ID with this statement.

"That is what it is all about," Lanza said. "Ensuring our soldiers and units are lethal, agile and capable of serving as an expeditionary force in support of the Army's strategic goals."

Ferrell, whose decorations include the Silver and Bronze Star medals, was commissioned in 1984 while in the reserve officer training program at Marshall University.

Ferrell's overseas peacekeeping deployments include two rotations with a stabilization force in Bosnia. Then he had combat experience as the commander of the 3rd Squadron and the 7th Cavalry Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Early his military career, Ferrell's assignments included tank platoon leader and company executive officer at Camp Casey in Korea. Later, he became company executive officer and Battalion S4 at Fort Hood, Texas. He then became the tank company commander and headquarters company commander in Baumholder, Germany.

"I appreciate your trust and confidence," Ferrell said. "It's truly phenomenal to be here."

LINK: Video of the 7th ID change of command ceremony

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