Major General Joseph M. Martin assumed command of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley in a ceremony that doubled as the Deployment Ceremony for the division.
“Unexpected but absolutely welcomed,” said the new Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley.
Martin was assigned to command the post and Division after the abrupt removal of Maj. General Wayne Grigsby Jr. on September 26th.
“It’s unbelievable that I’ve been given this opportunity and I will treat it as such as I continue to command this great division and its legacy,” said Martin.
The new Commanding General is no stranger to Fort Riley. As a Captain he was assigned to the 37th Armor Regiment in the 1st Infantry Division where he commanded Company B during Operation Desert Storm; and years later Martin returned to Fort Riley where he commanded the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and deployed with them to northwest Baghdad, Iraq.
“It was unexpected, but it is absolutely welcomed not just for me but for the entire Martin family,” said MG Martin. “I was born and raised here as a company grade officer so I understand Fort Riley, I know the community and I understand the Division, I know the training area, I know the people – I know the people of the community.”
Martin is thankful for the opportunity to return to Fort Riley and lead the historic Division.
“It’s very important to be able to take an opportunity like this and shape the organization, help them to build up readiness, enable them to succeed in what they do and more important than that it’s dealing with the people that are here and working with the people of the great community – this is a fantastic community in the Flint Hills Region,” said Martin.
Faith and a fondness for the region make the emotional assumption of command for Martin very special.
“It is a huge amount of emotions coming in to this position, because if you had asked me in 1990 when I came to Fort Riley as a young Captain if I would have had this opportunity, I would have laughed at you; God and the army has seen it that I am to command the First Division and I’m honored to be here,” said Martin.
The Division cased their colors as part of the Deployment Ceremony as they prepare to take over for the 101st Division at the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command Headquarters in Iraq.
“I will continue to build upon the professionalism that this Division displays and the honor that it displays each and every opportunity that it has and when it deploys,” said Martin.
The Division will work in a coalition with 19 other countries to help the Iraqis defeat ISIS.