The military’s summer shuffle of command assignments is shaking up a few of the top posts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Two deputy commanding generals for Lewis-McChord’s I Corps said goodbye to the base last week. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan is moving on to command all Army installations in the Washington, D.C. area. Canadian Brig. Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier is returning to a command assignment in Quebec.
Meanwhile, a recent I Corps commander is heading to South Korea. Lt. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti, who only last June came home with Lewis-McChord’s headquarters from a yearlong assignment in Afghanistan, is expected to receive a fourth star when he takes command of the 28,000 service members of U.S. Forces Korea.
I Corps is Lewis-McChord’s top Army headquarters. It is currently led by Scaparrotti’s successor, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown.
The corps has two deputy commander slots, one reserved for a Canadian. Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne is following Lanthier in that slot.
The other slot now goes to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who follows Buchanan. Dahl is coming home from a tour in Afghanistan.
Lewis-McChord has added several slots for generals in the past year with at least one more to come.
The Army in October launched its 7th Infantry Division at Lewis-McChord, led by Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza. He has two deputy commanders, a one-star general and a promotable colonel.
Later this summer, the Army is expected to elevate the command of its 593rd Sustainment Brigade from a slot for a colonel to one for a one-star general.
Officers say the extra command posts provide steady leadership as the Army winds down from the fast pace of the past decade’s wars. Buchanan, in his remarks at his send-off ceremony, singled out the 7th Infantry Division for improving “coaching, teaching and mentoring” for the base’s combat brigades.
Previously, Lewis-McChord was the only base of its size without a division command.
Buchanan took his post at Lewis-McChord in April 2012. He oversaw training with a challenging budget and visited exercises with Asian allies to participate in the Army’s shift of resources to the Pacific.
Lanthier was in charge of logistics and soldier and family support services during his assignment with I Corps. He also served with the corps in Afghanistan in 2011-12.
“Hopefully I don’t cause a shock when I go back to the Canadian system because I’ve learned so much,” he said.
Adam Ashton: 253-597-8646