COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Maj. Gen. Pat Donahoe is set to give up command of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence later this week.

Donahoe sat down Monday for an exclusive exit interview with WRBL News 3.

All you need to know about Donahoe – an Armor officer — is the place he chose to do the one-on-one interview was surrounded by 175 tanks with the Armor and Cavalry collection.

The general is Tanker – through and through.

Donahoe took command of Fort Benning at the height of COVID. He has been dealing with the virus and its impact on training during his entire tenure as commander.

And he’s been at the center of a change in that training that has shifted focus from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to potential warfare with Russia and China.

During the lengthy interview, Donahoe talked about being reluctant about coming to Fort Benning to now making Columbus his home.

This is Donahoe’s last assignment after 33 and half years in uniform. He’s retiring after he gives up the Fort Benning command.

Here’s a sample of the conversation:

Asked how he wanted the first sentence of his obit to rear, Donahoe said, “I was a wonderful husband and father.”

He was then asked if he wanted armor officer somewhere in that first sentence.

His response: “No. No, because I am going to walk off the parade field on Thursday. Everybody leaves the Army behind at some point. If that’s at the center of who you are you are going to be disappointed with yourself. At my core, I am a husband – sometimes a mediocre one, right? — and a father who’s always trying to improve. That’s the value of the lives we lead that our families love us, and our families want us around.”

Donahoe and his wife, Theresa, and their children will stay here in Columbus, though he’s not ready to say what his next career move will be.

Maj. Gen. Curtis Buzzard will take the helm of Fort Benning during an 8 a.m. ceremony Thursday morning on post.

General Buzzard, an Infantry officer, has an impressive military resume that includes a stint as the commandant of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his alma mater.