Transfer of Authority: Maj. Gen. Howard takes command of MDW

Cover Story

Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, former commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region-Military District of Washington, speaks at the Veterans Day Memorial Service for Gen. John J. Pershing in November 2015 at Fort Meade. Becker served for two years before relinquishing his command on Friday. (File photo)

By Holly Quick

Public Affairs, Military District of Washington

Maj. Gen. Michael L. Howard assumed command of Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington from Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Conmy Hall in Arlington, Va.

The ceremony, hosted by Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, and Lt. Gen. Reynold N. Hoover, U.S. Northern Command deputy commander, is a centuries-old tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.

Maj. Gen. Michael L. Howard assumed command Friday. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Austin L. Thomas)

Becker served as the JFHQ-NCR/MDW commanding general since June 2015. He is scheduled to begin his new position as chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, U.S. Central Command.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead such a unique organization,” Becker said. “I will never forget or take for granted the opportunities this command has afforded me.

“From leading the military support to the 58th presidential inauguration, working with our interagency partners on events like the papal visit, witnessing our Soldiers guarding the Tomb in frigid temperatures and snow, or attending a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery — the professionalism the people in this organization display every single day is amazing,” Becker said.

Before the ceremony, Allyn presented Becker with the Distinguished Service Medal at a private ceremony in the JBM-HH Town Hall building.

Prior to taking command of JFHQ-NCR/MDW, Howard served as director of Force Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, United States Army in Washington, D.C.

“In the past week I’ve learned that the command is part of this fascinating team of teams that makes our collective mission in the NCR a success,” Howard said. “It is impressive to me how this very large and disparate group functions as a team, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Commander of Troops for the ceremony was the commander of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Col. Jason Garkey.

Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” were the participating units.

The U.S. Army Military District of Washington serves as the Army Forces Component and core staff element of Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region, which conducts operations that deter, prevent and respond to threats aimed at the National Capital Region.

MDW also conducts world-class ceremonial musical and special events in support of the nation’s leadership.

Maj. Gen. Michael L. Howard (left) assumes command of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington from Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker (far right) during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. The ceremony was hosted by Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, and Lt. Gen. Reynold N. Hoover, deputy commander, United States Northern Command. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Austin L. Thomas)
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