FORT HOOD, Texas – In a small ceremony on post Wednesday, Major General John Richardson IV took over as senior commander of Fort Hood – amidst a year with three high profile missing soldiers cases on the post resulting in four deaths.
Maj. Gen. Richardson previously served as FORSCOM’s director of operations from 2019-2020, and was selected in March 2020 by the Department of the Army to serve as the next DCG for III Corps stationed on Fort Hood.
He takes the reigns from Major General Scott Efflandt, who was originally supposed to be transferred to Fort Bliss, but instead will be staying at Fort Hood.
Major General Richardson says he wants the post to earn the nation’s trust back.
“Holistically, trust is strong in the Army. But we have individual instances where that trust is broken, and one break in that link is one too many,” Major General Richardson said. “Going back to this idea that we’re always seeking opportunities to get better, we want to ensure that at every opportunity, strengthen our bonds of trust.”
Even with the post under the microscope of national media attention and an independent panel review put together by the Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Major General Richardson is looking at it in a positive light.
“I don’t see it as a challenge, I see it as an opportunity,” Major General Richardson said. “These are opportunities for a set of outside eyes to come in and provide us feedback and provide us insights to potential blind spots that we have.”
The new Senior Commander says he has not spoken to the families of the fallen soldiers yet.