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U.S. Army North gets its first female commander

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan turned over the reigns of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and Senior Commander Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis to Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson Monday morning in a ceremony punctuated by cannon fire.

“Commanding Army North and Fifth Army has been one of the greatest honors of my life, but it really is a time for a change in leadership, and it’s changes like this that keep innovation and initiative high,” said Buchanan.

U.S. Army North Change of Command Ceremony/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

He said he can’t think of a better officer to pass the reigns to than Richardson.

“Laura’s also part of a great Army family, has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and has a great foundation of experience to draw on while making tough, timely decisions in defending our homeland.”

Buchanan and Richardson rode horses on the field to inspect the troops at Fort Sam Houston as friends, family and special guests watched.

“In the Army, we transitioned from horseback to aircraft after Lt. Foulois flew the first Army Air Corps aircraft in 1910 right here on this post,” Richardson told the crowd.

Her assignments as a general officer include Commanding General of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command; Deputy Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas; Chief, Army Legislative Liaison; and most recently as the Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces Command.

“I’m the daughter of great parents who always told me I could do anything and never put the typical gender norms on me,” said Richardson.

Gen. Laura Richardson at change of command ceremony-U.S. Army North/KTSA Photo -Elizabeth Ruiz

Now, she’s the first female Commander of U.S. Army North.

“I’m ready for the challenges we’ll face with this great team before you,” she said.

Soldiers at U.S. Army North Change of Command Ceremony/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

If you call her home and ask for the general, be specific. She’s married to Lt. Gen. Jim Richardson. The two generals have a daughter.

Gen. Buchanan is retiring after 37 years of military service.  He and his wife, Laura, have three grown children and five grandchildren.

“The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our soldiers. The strength of our soldiers is our families, and that’s what makes us Army Strong,” said Buchanan.


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