Fort Jackson is welcoming its 49th commanding general Friday. Brigadier General John "Pete" Johnson takes over for Major General Roger Cloutier Jr.
Cloutier is leaving Fort Jackson to become the chief of staff for the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
We at WIS would like to thank Cloutier for his dedication and hard work during his time at Fort Jackson.
WIS was there in May 2015 when Cloutier took over as commanding general.
It has been an eventful 13 months to say the least. In July, it was announced 180 personnel would be cut from all parts of the fort as part of a nationwide army drawback. That number could have been much, much worse. Some projections had the cutbacks at as much as 31 hundred jobs.
Cloutier should be commended for working tirelessly to promote the importance of the fort and its impact.
In fact, for nearly a century, Fort Jackson has had a strong bond with the midlands community, particularly in Columbia where the U.S. Army installation calls home. Studies show the state's military has an annual economic impact of more than 19 billion dollars a year.
But it goes well beyond just the military personnel...it also includes tens of thousands of retirees. Plus, contracting firms and the army reserve. Some estimates say the Fort accounts for nearly 20 thousand jobs in and outside the base.
It's clear that relationship is vital to the community's continued success.
Join me in thanking Major General Cloutier for his contributions and in wishing Brigadier General Johnson the best as he takes over for what will hopefully be a bright future.
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