FORT RILEY — Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II succeeded Maj. Gen. William C. Mayville, Jr. as commanding general of the Big Red One during a change of command ceremony at Cavalry Parade Field here Wednesday.
The ceremony was traditional and symbolic in many ways down to the flowers given to the generals’ families and the carrots given to the horses that were used during the event. Cannons were fired and a history of the 1st Division as well as the division band was given. The latter highlighted an army band’s importance back to the Crusades.
Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general, I Corps, spoke, highlighting Mayville’s achievements during his time with the division and addressing its future under Funk’s command. He also underscored the importance of the relationship between Fort Riley and the surrounding communities.
“The Army has fostered a relationship with community members,” Brown said. “We can’t do anything without community support, and we’re grateful for it.”
Mayville was wistful as he spoke of the relationships forged during his time at Fort Riley.
“Sadly my time with these soldiers, families and community members has come to an end; I am now joining the old-timers and the ranks that pick up bar tabs,” Mayville said. “I am thankful for the generous support received.”
He is being re-assigned to a position at the Pentagon.
Funk, who will be the commanding general of both the division and Fort Riley, presented a positive outlook about the future of both the Army and the 1st Infantry Division.
“Our environment is changing and our duty is to be ready,” Funk said. “The Army is a people business; we need to continue nurturing relationships and strengthening all us, making the Flint Hills a place to come home to.”
Funk deployed previously with the division and has been at Fort Riley since June 2011.