There was a changing of the guard Wednesday at Fort Jackson. After spending almost two years at the helm, Brigadier General Bradley May is getting ready to go to Iraq. Wednesday the Army Base welcomed its newest commander, who says he's up to the challenge of training soldiers during a time of war.
"I'm incredibly proud and privileged and humbled to have the opportunity to command here at Fort Jackson," said Major General James Milano.
He becomes Fort Jackson's 44th Commanding General. A change of command ceremony making it official Wednesday, as Brigadier General Bradley May prepares to tackle a new mission in Iraq. A mission Milano has also completed. And now the long-time serviceman is preparing for a new role.
"Our bread and butter, our reason for being is to continue to produce great soldiers in a time of war," said Major General Milano. "Which is what Fort Jackson has been doing since 1917."
Some Fort Jackson soldiers like Julian Zamarripa, Jr. have mixed emotions about the changing of the guard.
"It's always a sad day to lose your former commander General, because they see him on a daily basis," said Zamarripa. "He comes out to graduations and stuff like that. And there are other times, we look forward to working with General Milano to see what he has."
In 2008 when Brigadier General Bradley May took over the Army Base, he said his top priority was making sure the soldiers were properly prepared for the difficult job ahead. It's a sentiment shared by Fort Jackson's new Commanding General.
"We've got to prepare them to be tough, resilient, capable soldiers on the battle field," said Major General Milano. "No matter what the situation to be able to deal with uncertainty, in a time of persistent conflict."
But Major General James Milano says he's ready to equip his soldiers for victory.