You are on page 1of 4



By Sgt. Mark S. Patton
1st Armored Division Public Affairs Office

WIESBADEN ARMY AIRFIELD, Germany -- V Corps' 1st Armored Division said

goodbye to an old friend and welcomed a new commander during a change of

command ceremony on Minue Field here May 4.

Maj. Gen. Fred D. Robinson Jr., who

commanded the "Old Ironsides"

division since July 2005, passed

command to Maj. Gen. Mark P.



Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling salutes during the ceremony in Under sunny skies, a grandstand
which he became the 45th commander of V Corps' 1st
Armored Division, on Minue Field at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, packed with visitors watched Soldiers
Germany May 4.
from the division's 13 major units

march onto the field for the ceremony. The "Old Ironsides" colors were then passed

from division Command Sgt. Maj. Roger P. Blackwood to Robinson for the last time,

then on to Hertling to officially mark the beginning of his command.

“There is no doubt in my mind that you are in good hands,” said Robinson of his

successor as he addressed the Soldiers on the field. “If I had the power, he is the

one I would have picked to follow me.”

In his remarks during the ceremony, V Corps Commander Lt. Gen. James D.

Thurman expressed his thanks to the division's Soldiers and families.

“Our most precious asset is a Soldier, and it is truly inspiring to look out on the field

and see a visible reminder of everything that is right with America,” said Thurman.

Thurman also recounted Robinson’s accomplishments during his tenure at the

division's commander.

“General Robinson’s strategic vision, superb leadership and dedicated service were

directly responsible for the division’s combat readiness,” praised Thurman. “This is

especially critical as the division headquarters prepares to head off to combat again.”

“I am confident Maj. Gen. Hertling is the right man to lead the division into war,”

Thurman added.

As he passed on the division's command, Robinson thanked his "Iron Soldiers" and

their families one last time.

“Thank you for your unwavering support, your patriotism and your leadership ... you

are the standard,” he told the Soldiers on the field.

“The hardest part of leaving this division is the thought of not seeing each of you

every day,” he said. “Each of you is special.”

In closing his remarks, Robinson asked attendees to remember the 91 "Iron

Soldiers" who died in combat during the division's last two deployments in Iraq.

Hertling told the assemblage he is humbled by being given the privilege of returning

to the division, where he recently served as assistant division commander of support.

“Just like there is strong, and there is 'Army strong,' so there is Soldier and 'Iron

Soldier',” he said.

At an earlier event, Hertling said his priority is to prepare the division's Soldiers to go

back to Iraq, and said he hopes to continue to grow and foster the relationship

between the division and V Corps, which he said will be critical for the division

headquarters' upcoming deployment.

“It will be a shared relationship, with them really taking over a lot of responsibility

for training the units that are back here while we are deployed,” said Hertling.

Hertling said the recent announcement of 15-month Iraq tours will not change or

affect his planning for the deployment.

Hertling's son, Scott, is a second lieutenant currently deployed there.

Robinson’s next assignment will take him to Maryland, where he will be in charge of

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving


Change of command ceremonies have been part of the Army tradition since the

American Revolution, and part of 1st Armored Division tradition since July 1940,

when Maj. Gen. Bruce R. Magruder became the division's first commander. Hertling

is now the 45th commander of the division.