State News

Joint Chiefs promotion prompts command change at Fort Bragg

Posted August 10, 2015

— There's a new commander with a notable pedigree at the U.S. Army command that makes sure the right number of soldiers are trained and deployed to the world's hotspots.

Gen. Robert Abrams on Monday succeeded Gen. Mark Milley, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week as the Army's representative on the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff. Abrams' father, for whom the military named the M1 Abrams battle tank, served as Army chief of staff in the 1970s.

Army Forces Command has more than 800,000 active-duty and reserve soldiers, including Fort Bragg's 18th Airborne Corps and 82nd Airborne Division. The command also oversees training centers at Fort Irwin, California, and Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Abrams comes to Fort Bragg from his most recent assignment as a senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense in Washington.

Abrams graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1982 and in the past 33 years has twice participated in U.S. military invasions of Iraq as well as America's efforts to subdue militants in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as a strategic war planner for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and had a top job in the military effort to protect allied service members in Iraq and Afghanistan from improvised bombs.

Milley leaves Fort Bragg after a year as head of Army Forces Command. He was assigned to review the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years. After spending months reviewing the massive case file, Milley made the decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Before taking the Forces Command job in August 2014, Milley was commander at Fort Hood, Texas. He was in charge there when a soldier being treated for mental illness gunned down three people and wounded 16 others before shooting himself.


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