Tuesday the 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, and the Army bid farewell to commanding general, Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick. After 37 years of service, Helmick was honored for his service at a combined retirement and relinquishment of command ceremony.
Helmick shared that his retirement from the Army is not a true retirement.
David H. Petraeus, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency provided remarks at the ceremony and praised Helmick for being a “national treasure.”
“He has served our country and our partner nations so magnificently in peace and in war,” said Petraeus.
Helmick took command of the Corps in November 2009, and since then they have had scheduled deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as an emergency mission to Haiti.
Helmick served as the deputy commanding general for Operations, United States Forces-Iraq from January 2011 to December 2011. He was in charge of daily operations during the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq last year, and was instrumental in the reposturing of troops during Operation New Dawn and the transition with the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq.
"You may take this soldier out of the Army ranks, but you will never take the soldier out of my heart," said Helmick.
Fellow post leaders and classmates from Helmick's West Point days shared anecdotes about their academy time together.
Helmick's deputy, Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson, will be in charge until the arrival of Lt. Gen. Dan Allyn in June.