Fort Sill Says Good-bye to Maj. General David Halverson

After a brief prayer Friday morning, Fort Sill's Change of Command ceremony was underway.

Hundreds of soldiers filled the field to say farewell.

"It's been a tremendous day," said Major General Halverson, "It shows you the traditions of our military. It's been going on for 237 years now, and it just shows you why the Army is the strength of the Nation."

As each battalion paid tribute to their former commander, they also welcomed a new one.

Major General Halverson handed over command of the Post to Major General James McDonald.

For Halverson, it's a bittersweet transition, but he knows he's leaving the Post in a better position than when he first arrived, just 33 months ago.

"I think our legacy is that we tried to serve honorably and with great character," explained Halverson, "and we tried to make the best decisions that we could to move our Army forward."

Perhaps his best decision, some said, was getting to know his soldiers.

"He's what we call a soldier's officer," said Rickie Snidow, a retired Staff Sergeant who served under Halverson.

Snidow said he first met Halverson while hunting on the East Range on Post.

Snidow shot a deer, and the General helped him load it up.

At first, Snidow didn't know who the Good Samaritan was.

"Every time since then, when he sees me, he always asks about my daughter, how my family is, if I'd gone hunting" said Snidow, "I've really appreciated that really well."

"My name is Halverson, and I'm a soldier. I'm just blessed to be the Commander," said Halverson, choking back tears, "All said and done that's what it's all about. I'm just a soldier trying to do the best thing and good people just help other people."

A rare show of emotion, from a stoic leader who is both loved and respected.

"Since I was here at Fort Sill," said Snidow, "I was just glad to be under his command."

Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

Major General David Halverson has been nominated for his third star, and will become the next Deputy Commanding General for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis in Virginia.

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