III Corps and Fort Hood welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony on Sadowski Field on Fort Hood Wednesday.
Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II relinquished command to Lt. Gen. Pat White during the ceremony, where the III Corps colors were passed between the two, representing the transfer of authority from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.
Funk said during his remarks that he was happy to return to his native Central Texas home and it was bittersweet to leave it as well while also reflecting on his military career.
“At the change of command two years ago, I began by saying that it was good to be home,” Funk said. “Beth and I have enjoyed returning to the Great Place, my home town. During my … Army journey, I’ve had the privilege of serving in the finest units of our Army, including every one of the four divisions of this great corps. Great units have shaped me since I was a young officer. They forged me from a green second lieutenant in the First Team into the old cavalryman I am today.”
Funk then discussed his time in command of III Corps at the Great Place.
“When I first came on board as Phantom 6, I asked our troopers how they defined what it meant to be a Phantom Warrior. Courageous. Fierce. Warrior. Selfless. Reliable. Strong. Resilient,” said Funk. “Lethal and tenacious – these are the words they came back with. After two years, I can say with the utmost pride that our troopers get it. They understand and internalize these traits to their core.”
Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, served as the reviewing officer during the ceremony and highlighted the accomplishments Funk made during his two years in command.
“Under Paul’s leadership, the Phantom Corps has supported operations in every geographic combatant command, while generating operational readiness at every escalon of command,” Garrett said. “Paul’s inspirational leadership, vision and tenacity enabled a wide range of achievements and force readiness, infrastructure development, strategic communications and community relations. Paul, I congratulate you and your team on a job very well done.”
Funk credited the successes made by the corps, particularly the defeat of ISIS during his command of Operation Inherent Resolve, to the service members of the corps.
“None of this would be possible without the people here today. From the troopers that represent the corps on the field, to our community partners, you are the reason we can do this,” Funk said. “You are the reason Fort Hood is called the Great Place. The teamwork of this corps and our communities is the source of our triumphs. It is the glue that brought all the hard work together to achieve success. I know this teamwork will carry you forward into your next chapter with the same success. I am immensely proud to have served alongside every one of you.”
Funk’s next duty assignment will be the commanding general at Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
White’s previous assignment was the director of operations at U.S. Army European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He said during the ceremony that he looks forward to leading the Phantom Corps and building relationships with the entire Central Texas community.
“There’s a humbling aspect of standing up here in front of this great formation but … it’s not about White, the newest Phantom Warrior, it’s about those who’ve surrounded me and gotten me to where I am today,” White said. “I’ve stood on the shoulders of many and I will continue to allow my shoulders to be stood on. I am committed to giving this corps the leadership it requires and the privilege of taking the reins of this formation. I look forward to serving shoulder to shoulder with each of you as we write the next chapter in this Phantom Corps and the Great Place.”