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I Corps change of command

George promoted and takes command of America’s First Corps

Photo credit: Julie A. Ferraro

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(Photo: Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, left, outgoing commander of America’s First Corps; Gen. Paul LaCamera, center; and Lt. Gen. Randy George, incoming commander, inspect the troops during the change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.)

To say Tuesday was a busy day for Randy A. George might be an understatement.

Maj. Gen. George, former commander of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, started the day with a private ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), where he was promoted to lieutenant general. Then, joining a crowd in the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade's helicopter hangar, he took command of America's First Corps.

"Patty and I are excited to be in the Pacific Northwest," George said. "This has been at the top of our list for 30 years."

George, along with Gen. Robert Abrams and Gen. Paul LaCamera, praised outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, who relinquished command of I Corps, a position he's held since April 2017.

Abrams, commander of the United Nations Command, ROK-US Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea, described Volesky as one of the nation's finest warriors.

"It's difficult to distill nearly 37 years of service into five minutes of remarks," Abrams said. He pointed out how Volesky had taken on some of the hardest, least glamorous jobs during his time in the Army. "He was committed to accomplishing the mission, no matter what it was."

Abrams credited Volesky's wife, LeAnn, with being a tireless advocate for the soldiers and families of the command, all while raising their son, Alex.

"You've simply been an inspiration to all of us," Abrams told LeAnn.

LaCamera of Westwood, Massachusetts, selected two quotes from football coach Vince Lombardi to highlight Volesky's leadership.

"‘The most competitive games draw the most competitive men,'" LaCamera quoted, citing Volesky as having competed in the most competitive sport and performing magnificently.

LaCamera admitted to disagreeing with the second Lombardi quote: "Leaders are made and not born."

"You were born to this," LaCamera said of Volesky.

Turning to George, LaCamera chuckled, "The reward for good work is more work."

Abrams concurred, telling George he would be contributing to the continuing legacy of outstanding leadership with America's First Corps.

America's First Corps is comprised of more than 44,000 soldiers, stationed at JBLM, Hawaii, Alaska and Japan. During deployments, all branches of service fall under America's First Corps command, along with international forces.

The command includes 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division and 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, along with brigades of military intelligence, military police and engineers.

LaCamera, Volesky and George inspected representatives of these divisions and brigades during the change of command ceremony.

As his retirement was celebrated, Volesky thanked his family, friends and those with whom he served, including America's First Corps Band, which played the Black Sabbath song "Iron Man" prior to the ceremony.

"I thought I would never realize my dream of having ‘Iron Man' played by an Army band," Volesky joked.

He and George served together while colonels in Iraq, Volesky recalled. "I know you'll take the Corps to new heights," he said.

George, for his part, thanked Volesky for the smooth leadership transition over the course of recent months.

"We will work to become absolute experts at our craft," George said.

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