French officer promoted at special ceremony at Fort Stewart

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - A partnership between US and French armies led to a historic moment at Fort Stewart.

A French officer has spent almost two years overseeing US soldiers. On Friday, he was promoted at a special ceremony.

Just beyond Fort Stewart’s gates, a celebration for the 3rd Infantry Division. History is being made as a French officer is the first from his army to serve as the deputy commanding general for U.S. Soldiers.

“Dog Faced Soldiers. We’re not fancy, we’re just tough.”

Then Brigadier General Hubert Cottereau began serving at Fort Stewart in July 2019 as the deputy commanding general. Today, his rank is Major General.

At Friday’s promotion ceremony at Fort Stewart, Major General Antonio Aguto, Commanding General of the 3rd ID, says the promotion is well-deserved. As a DGC, Cottereau is in charge of long-range planning.

Maj. General Aguto says he was an integral part of the military’s response to COVID-19. Cottereau also brought his experiences in the French army to the 3rd ID, teaching them more about leadership and how to better defend the nation.

“We’ve taken some of those lessons and used it here to help build upon what we do to build good units and great leadership,” Maj. Aguto said.

And it goes both ways. Major General Cottereau also learned from them, saying he admires the US Army’s mindset of humility and the willingness to serve and always improve.

Cottereau came to Fort Stewart as part of the U.S. Army’s Military Personnel Exchange Program, designed to strengthen bonds of friendship and understanding between countries and their military organizations.

{MAJ. GEN. HUBERT COTTERREAU/3RD ID} “It’s a necessity, in terms of improving the interoperability in terms of technical approach, tactical, and above everything else, human understanding,” Maj. Gen. Cotterreau said.

In July, Cottereau will head back, with the lessons and skills he learned in the US, to lead his division in the French army.

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