FORT BRAGG — The Security Force Assistance Command welcomed back one commander to Fort Bragg this month, as Army leaders thanked the command’s outgoing commander for his contributions.
Maj. Gen. Scott Jackson relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Donn Hill during a May 16 ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The Security Force Assistance Command oversees five regular Army brigades and one National Guard brigade, said Maj. Gen. Michael Garrett, U.S. Army Forces Command commander and the reviewing officer for the ceremony.
The command was activated at Fort Bragg in November 2018.
Army leaders have previously said the command's specialized units have a core mission to conduct training, advise and assist operations with partner nations to allow their forces to secure themselves against threats.
The mission has freed up soldiers in conventional brigade combat teams, who were previously doing the job.
Command change: Unit hosts 1st command change at Bragg
Hill arrives back to Fort Bragg from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he served as deputy commander for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.
He previously commanded the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, which is also at Fort Bragg, from January 2018 to June 2020.
Jackson is headed to the U.S. Southern Command.
He led the Security Force Assistance Command since July 2018 and commanded the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade before that when it activated in 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Outgoing commander thanked
Garrett said since the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade’s activation, Jackson “spent 1,558 consecutive days as a leader” in the Security Forces Assistance Command.
“By doing this work, Scott and his teammates have evolved the Army’s advising missions from something any soldier could occasionally be asked to do into a purpose-built profession and culture, with its own selection and training pipeline, systems to share best practices, and motivated, dedicated soldiers,” Garrett said.
Garrett said Jackson is a “natural coalition builder” who has empowered the security force assistance brigades and their command teams by leading with example and character, while advancing relationships and resources.
Advisors and partners around the world are safer because of Jackson’s approach to risk management and medical training and are more technically advanced within their teams, Garrett said.
Jackson thanked the command’s advisors and said they are the “secret sauce” of the team, and that the team “was born in the closing days of Afghanistan,” leading up to last year’s withdrawal of American troops.
“Over the last two years, we have shown the real potential of this team and concept as a flexible, agile, and effective tool that can operate across the breadth of the spectrum of conflict,” he said.
Previous coverage: Fort Bragg welcomes new command, brigade
The brigades started with missions to Afghanistan and the Middle East and started deploying to Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region in 2020.
The command’s brigades operated in more than 40 countries during the 2021 fiscal year to improve “partner capacity, interoperability, and strengthening strategic relationships,” Jackson said.
After thanking the command team staff, Command Sgt. Maj. Reese Teakell and his family for their support, Jackson told Hill that he will enjoy the command and that he is confident that Hill will make the command “everything that its truly capable of” — “providing the nation with a true Swiss Army knife for operations across the spectrum.”
Garrett said Hill is committed to the shared mission of the advisors who volunteered to be part of the team.
Hill is no stranger to wearing different colored berets, previously serving as deputy commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment and assistant chief of staff of operations for the 18th Airborne Corps.
He's also commanded combat deployments with the Rangers, 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division from Fort Wainwright, Alaska and the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Bragg, Garrett said.
“In a complex world where any nation’s security situation can change rapidly and where your friends and partners matter a great deal, Donn is absolutely the right leader to put the SFAC’s advisors in the best positions to assist, lead and win,” Garrett said.
Hill said when the command’s brigades were built to support missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the significance of the roles “in the emerging world of competition and crisis we face today” were unimaginable.
Advisors and the brigades “have evolved and adapted faster and more effectively than many thought possible,” he said.
“I look forward to the days ahead as we meet our nation’s needs,” Hill told soldiers in the command. “You will be decisive to victory on the battlefield, any battlefield, and I couldn't be prouder to see what you have grown to be in the short time we've been gone.”
Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3528.
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This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Security Force Assistance Command changes commanders at Fort Bragg