DW CoC Ceremony / Maj. Gen. Frank Tate.

The tradition of passing the colors takes place during the First Army, Div. West’s change of command ceremony on Cameron Field Wednesday. Maj. Gen. Erik Peterson handed off command to Maj. Gen. Frank Tate.

Maj. Gen. Erik C. Peterson, who has served as the First Army Division West commanding general for more than two years, passed command responsibility to Maj. Gen. Frank Tate, with the traditional passing of the colors, symbolizing the change of command.

“Since Erik (Peterson) assumed command just over two years ago, 1,787 units have mobilized through Division West.

That’s nearly 58,000 Soldiers,” Lt. Gen. Thomas James, First Army commanding general, who serves at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, said.

“You have been the right leader at the right time for this job, and I and the Soldiers on the field thank you,” James, who served as the reviewing officer of the ceremony, said.

Tate served as the senior advisor to the Ministry of Defense, Ministerial Advisory Group-Defense in Afghanistan.

As the new Div. West commanding general, Tate said that he looked forward to working with the Soldiers of our National Guard and Reserve at Div. West in the missions ahead.

“I’m proud to be a part of Division West working with our National Guard and Reserve teammates to have the strongest possible total Army,” Tate said. “It’s a great feeling and an amazing team.”

Tate explained his meaning of the Div. West motto.

“‘First in the West’ means, we are going to make sure the units we work with will be absolutely the best they can be,” Tate said.

Peterson shared a final message to Tate, coming in as the commanding general, to continue working closely with the Div. West partners in the National Guard and Reserve.

“Take time to build relationships. We can’t train with our partners without a foundation of trust,” Peterson said. “We learn a lot from each other and our National Guard and Reserve have a lot to contribute.”

Peterson and his family will leave Fort Hood and head to Washington, D.C., where he will assume the duty as the director of force development in the office of the deputy chief of staff, G-8, which is responsible for force development and moderation.