Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett nominated to lead FORSCOM
By CLAUDIA GRISALES | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 15, 2019
WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, who leads U.S. Army Central at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, has been nominated to take charge of U.S. Army Forces Command, a congressional staffer confirmed Tuesday.
Garrett was recently listed as one of the next military officials in line for promotion to become a four-star Army general, according to congressional records. His nomination was received by the Senate on Jan. 9.
Garrett could be considered for the job by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the coming weeks, the staffer said on the condition of anonymity.
Army Forces Command, or FORSCOM, is the largest organization in the Army, and is responsible for ensuring combat soldiers are trained and prepared to deploy. It’s headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C., and includes more than 750,000 Army, reserve and National Guard soldiers.
A key focus for Garrett has been readiness.
“Every single soldier in this brigade is going to understand why we as a nation continue to invest our treasure and our blood in this part of the world,” Garrett told soldiers during a June 2018 visit to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. “Readiness... remains our number one priority.”
Garrett is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, according to his Army biography. He was commissioned an infantry officer following his graduation in 1984.
In a 2010 profile for Xavier Magazine, Garrett said he was the first member of his family to graduate from college. His father, Edward, left school at the age of 16 and eventually reached the rank of command sergeant major in the Army. His dream was for his only son to graduate from college, Garrett told the magazine.
After graduating high school in Germany, he followed his sister to Xavier.
His previous assignments include chief of staff of U.S. Central Command and commanding general of U.S. Army Alaska, according to the Army.
Garrett has served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He previously commanded units including the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg and the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
He was named to lead U.S. Army Central in 2015.
“I am humbled and honored to join your ranks and consider myself fortunate to be a member of this historic team,” Garrett said at the time. “I will give you best effort every day and only ask the same of you in return.”
If Garrett is successful in gaining confirmation for the post, he would replace FORSCOM’s acting commander, Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson.
Richardson was put at the helm in October 2018 when the previous FORSCOM commander relinquished command to take his new job as the top military official in Korea.
Richardson, who was the first woman to temporarily fill the role, took over for Gen. Robert B. Abrams.
Abrams was confirmed in October for several new roles as commander of U.S. Forces Korea, United Nations Command and Combined Forces Command in Korea.
Abrams had led U.S. Army Forces Command since August 2015 before he was nominated last year to his new posts.
Abrams was well known in the Army for his use of Twitter to interact with soldiers on a range of issues.
FORSCOM and Army officials declined to confirm Garrett’s nomination to lead FORSCOM.
“Lt. Gen. Richardson presently is serving as the acting commanding general and deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command,” said Paul Boyce, FORSCOM spokesman. “We’ll make an announcement when there are any changes in our leadership.”
Staff writers Corey Dickstein contributed to this report.