Manhattan MRC welcomes new commanding general
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, speaks at the August meeting of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Military Relations Committee. At the meeting, Funk talked about how Army restructuring would affect the communities around Fort Riley and discussed his plans for the division, including announcing he will release a 2020 Campaign Plan in the coming months. Photo by: J. Parker Roberts, 1ST INF. DIV.
Story by: Mr. J. Parker Roberts
1st Infantry Division Public Affairs
The Manhattan community officially welcomed the 1st Infantry Division's 76th commanding general Aug. 7. Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, was the guest speaker at the August meeting of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Military Relations Committee.
"My name's Paul Funk. I'm a 'Big Red One' Soldier, and I'm very happy to be with you today," the commanding general told the crowd of about 125. "I'm so very proud of the team we have (at Fort Riley) and being a part of this great Central Flint Hills regional system."
At the meeting, Funk talked about how Army restructuring would affect the areas around Fort Riley and discussed his plans for the division, including announcing he will release a 2020 Campaign Plan in the coming months.
Funk said he was proud of the leadership team at Fort Riley and of being a part of this great Central Flint Hills Region.
"We've got a bunch of change going on at Fort Riley," he said, including the challenge of drawing down the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as part of the Army's overall reduction in forces. Funk said, however, many of the Soldiers of the "Dragon" Brigade would remain on post.
"We're going to try to keep a bunch of the people there to form the next pieces because we pick up some units as well," he said. "We're going to try to keep as many people close to home as we can."
And while the Army's restructuring plan is moving forward, the commanding general said the final numbers were not set in stone, urging those in the audience to "keep those cards and letters coming, and keep telling the story about how important your Army is to you."
Funk also introduced the attendees to his "BRO" campaign. "It's about being brave, responsible and on point to the nation," he said. "I hold the Soldiers of Fort Riley to a higher standard and so do all their leaders."
He said the campaign also is about being good community partners, good stewards and good citizens.
The Army's first division is looking to the future as well, as Funk said he is preparing to launch a 2020 Campaign Plan, perhaps as early as October. The plan would revisit the 2015 Campaign Plan launched by then-Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks, former commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, in early 2010.
"It's time to get back and get reenergized, and focus the resources of the region," Funk said, adding this would aid in making the Central Flint Hills Region's quality "inescapable."
"I think it went fabulous," said Janet Nicholls, military community liaison, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
Nicholls said the luncheon saw 30 to 40 more in the audience than most meetings, a surge she attributed to Funk's presence.
"I think everybody was really excited to hear what our new commanding general had to say and what his vision for Fort Riley is," she said.
"So we're Kansans now, and we really do love this area," Funk told the crowd. "It's great to be a part of a community that looks out for one another. That's what makes it special."