Gen. Webster Grateful for Time with Third ID - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/27/06

Gen. Webster Grateful for Time with Third ID

Maj. Gen. William Webster Maj. Gen. William Webster

The Fort Stewart commander who led 50,000 soldiers in Iraq will soon have a new assignment. Last week, the Army announced Maj. Gen. William Webster will be leaving the Third Infantry after commanding it and Task Force Baghdad for the past year.

WTOC talked with the general at his first public appearance since the announcement. He's gone through so much with the men and women of the Third Infantry, and though he still has a few months before he leaves, he won't miss a chance to brag on the men and women of the Marne Division.

The words to Third Infantry's song--I wouldn't trade my old ODs for all the Navy's dungarees, for I'm the walking pride of Uncle Sam--will stay with Gen. Webster for a long time.

"Normally, a division commander gets two years in the position, but I've been blessed and lucky enough to have three years in command of the Third Infantry Division here with these great soldiers, including a year in combat," he told us.

At Saturday's welcome home ceremony, the general had high praise for his soldiers and his successor, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the current deputy chief of staff in Iraq.

The Army hasn't announced Webster's next assignment yet. But wherever he lands, he says, it will be hard to make the connection he's made in Coastal Georgia.

"There's always mixed emotions that every commander feels, especially for me, because Liberty County is my home and I've had three tours here, so this has been a wonderful time for me."

The change of command is expected to take place sometime this summer.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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