KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — No ceremony. No press release. No fanfare.
Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the now-former commander of U.S. Army Europe, quietly departed Germany last week and retired days later at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
According to USAREUR spokesman Bill Roche, it was Hertling’s “personal preference and his desire to focus attention on serving the Soldiers and families of U.S. Army Europe, rather than on his retirement,” and, as he wished, there was no U.S. Army Europe ceremony to mark his leaving.
The command also didn’t alert the press to Hertling’s exit, nor issue a news release on its website, where Hertling’s official biography now says he “was” USAREUR commander from March 25, 2011, through Sunday.
“Lt. Gen. Hertling’s decision to retire was a matter of personal choice, based on his personal plans for the future,” Roche wrote in an email response to Stars and Stripes. Citing a Stars and Stripes article from June 29, Roche wrote, “the general chose not to discuss those plans publicly.”
According to postings on USAREUR Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport Sr.’s official web and Facebook pages, Hertling left Europe Nov. 1 and retired Saturday at West Point.
Hertling did not respond by deadline to email and Facebook messages asking for comment on his departure and retirement, which had been expected since his replacement’s nomination in June, though details of his post-USAREUR plans were never made public.
After the June announcement, USAREUR spokeswoman Col. Rumi Nielson-Green said in a statement to Stars and Stripes: “LTG Hertling is currently declining to talk about his plans for the future, as he feels there is much more to do in the service of the Soldiers and families of USAREUR prior to the anticipated fall change of command date.”
Hertling’s named successor, Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., was approved by the Senate in July, but is still serving as commander of the Army’s III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. Campbell’s successor still hasn’t been named, according to a III Corps spokesman.
Roche, in an email, said Campbell “is expected to arrive sometime after the new year.”
Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer is now the acting commander and chief of staff of U.S. Army Europe.