Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Alex Romey
FORT CAVAZOS, TX – Troopers from America’s First Team assembled on Cooper Field to bid farewell as Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, the outgoing commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, relinquished command to the incoming general, Maj. Gen. Kevin D. Admiral at a ceremony on July 14.
Admiral, now the 81st commanding general, is returning to Fort Cavazos, as he previously had served as the 76th Colonel of the 3d Cavalry Regiment when the unit was deployed to Afghanistan. The commanding general brings experience, expertise, and an unwavering passion for the Troopers. He is accompanied by his wife Charmain, an Army Veteran and attorney, and their daughter Kaitlyn who is currently in high school.
“I’m grateful to Army senior leaders for trusting me with command and the 1st Cavalry Division,” said Admiral. “First Team Leaders and Troopers, it is an honor to join the ranks of the best-armored Division in the world. You can count on me giving you 100% effort in my duties. But I ask that you do the same as we work together to uphold the highest standard of this great team.”
Richardson, a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, leaves the “First Team” after a period of meritorious and selfless service, being a strong proponent of the history and traditions of the 1st Cavalry Division. His unwavering commitment to the Division’s mission has guided numerous triumphs and the forging of unbreakable bonds among the Troopers. He leaves the team with his high school sweetheart, Deanie Poitevent, and their two children, Mary Alex and Johnny.
“Two years ago, we laid out a shared vision to build a cohesive team founded on trust that was fit, disciplined, well trained, and viewed with unit pride,” said Richardson. “Esprit de corps, along with just a little cavalry panache. Ready to fight anywhere, anytime.”
The ceremony included a cavalry charge led by Richardson accompanied by helicopters, presentation of flowers to the spouses, a pass in review, and the singing of “Spirit of the Cav” and the Army Song. The outgoing commanding general also personally sang one of his favorite songs, “I Want to be in the Cavalry,” by country and western musician Corb Lund.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I attribute much of the Division’s success to the engaged and empathetic leadership of Johnny Richardson,” Lt. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, commanding general of the III Armored Corps and Fort Cavazos. “We’ve all watched Johnny in action; he is the ultimate team builder. John and Deanie, thank you for your selfless service for the past few years. Well done.”
As the responsibility of command is passed from one leader to another, the strength of the First Team lies in its unity. Every Trooper, Officer, and Civilian plays an integral role in the success of the Division.
As the Division transitions into a new era, the First Team says goodbye to Richardson. We are grateful for the exceptional leadership he has displayed during his command.