FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) welcomed Maj. Gen. JP McGee to his new position as its commander with a change-of-command ceremony on Fort Campbell on Friday afternoon.
Relinquishing his command, Maj. Gen. Brian Winksi served as commanding general since February 2019, according to the event’s announcer.
This change of command ceremony marked the 47th time the colors of the 101st Airborne division has changed hands according to Commanding General of 18th Airborne Corp and Fort Bragg, Lieutenant General Erik Kurilla.
Kurilla commended Winski’s approach to Coronavirus saying his leadership was pivotal in helping his fellow man.
“This was a moment for decisive engaged empathetic leadership. Brian dug in, holding 25 town halls, informing soldiers, families and neighbors and assessing risk across every element of Fort Campbell,” Kurilla said.
Winski served almost 15 years out of his 32 years of service as a Screaming Eagle, Kurilla detailed.
Alongside Winski was his wife, Kim Winski, who worked as a labor and delivery nurse delivering over 5,000 babies at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, according to Kurilla.
Winski’s two children, Andrew, a lieutenant in training at Fort Benning and Kate, a Black Hawk Pilot will continue to serve after their father retires.
Maj. Gen McGee comes to the 101st with many tours in Afghanistan bringing stability and peace, explained Kurilla.
Before taking over command of the 101st, McGee was in charge of reorganizing the Army’s Talent Management process.
“There is no question now that he is the right leader to lead the 101st to the end of COVID and do whatever global security structure forms after,” Kurilla said.
McGee has his wife, Kate, and three children Patrick, 20, Aiden, 16 and 12 year-old Emma present during the ceremony.
During his speech, McGee thanked Winski for his service at the base.
“You leave behind an example that the rest of us can only hope to follow,” said McGee.
Reflecting on the new job title and its expectations, McGee said, “To whom much is given. Much is expected. Clearly today is a day on which I am aware of all I have been given and the high expectations that accompany the great gift of commanding the 101st Airborne Division (Air assault),”
This is McGee’s third tour at Fort Campbell.