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Incoming deputy commanding general reunites with ‘Big Red One’

By Spc. Jarel Chugg | 19TH PUBLIC AFFAIRS DETACHMENT | October 13, 2017

     Brig. Gen. Stephen Smith was formally welcomed as the new 1st Infantry Division deputy commanding general for support during a Victory with Honors Ceremony held at the “Big Red One” headquarters building Oct. 3 at Fort Riley.

     The ceremony not only identified the new family, it also allowed leaders and community members to introduce themselves.

     “A Victory with Honors ceremony is a very special occasion,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general. “We do it for only a couple of people in our formation. That is to recognize their presence, give them an opportunity if they are coming to say hello not only to the division leadership, but also for the community to put eyes on this new family that’s joining this great Flint Hills region.”

      Smith is no stranger to the Big Red One as he recently worked with the 1st Inf. Div. in Iraq.

     “Although he has never served here in Fort Riley, Steve is not new to this division,” Martin said. “He most recently worked with us in Iraq while serving as the CJ3 (joint special operations) for Operation Inherent Resolve at the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters, which was at Kuwait, Bagdad and Iraq.

      “The job he had was just — you’re just going to have to take my word if you don’t know — goliath and he did it well.”

      During his time working on this Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve, Smith built on to his reputation, according to Martin.

      “During the execution of his duties there, from my perspective, as a subordinate headquarters and all the staff officers that served with in our headquarters, his reputation was sterling across the CJTF-OIR,” Martin said.

      Smith has had many different assignments giving him experience at various levels, according to Martin.

     “His prior assignments include extensive experience at all organizational levels; he’s commanded everything from an artillery battery all the way to an artillery brigade,” Martin said. “Steve’s staff assignments are as diverse as serving as a fire support officer for a battery to the executive officer of an airborne brigade combat team to a war game planner at Joint Forces Command and, of course, his services as the CJ3 at CJTF-OIR.”

      Smith is more than qualified to take on his new role as deputy commanding general, Martin said.

     “Steve understands the importance of the total Army force, having served as the field artillery trainer at Camp Shelby, Mississippi,” Martin said. “He’s certainty prepared to be this division’s deputy commanding general for support and I look forward to seeing all that he has to offer.”

      Smith’s familiarity with the Big Red One extends beyond his recent encounter in Iraq — he served in the division in Germany.

      “When I was a captain assigned to the 1st Inf. Div. about 20 years ago, I sat down and had lunch with a World War II veteran of the Big Red One,” Smith said. “After he told me his stories of North Africa and Germany, he was one of five that lived through (that), and was part of his company through the entire battles of World War II. He told me that ‘if our Army ever draws down to just one division, that division will be the 1st Inf. Div. based on the history and fighting spirit of this great division.’ And I know that he would still believe that today.”

 

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