There is a new general in town. Patrick Donahoe is finishing his first week at the commanding general of Fort Benning.
And he’s a rare bird in one respect.
Five years ago, Donahoe was the chief of staff at Fort Benning.
It’s been 30 years, since a former chief of staff came back as the commanding general. The last one was Carmen Cavezza in 1990.
“Now, that you have compared me to Gen. Cavezza; that’s really humbling, right?” the new general said. “So, it makes me feel inadequate. So, thanks, Chuck. That’s really helpful.”
The 53-year-old general has a sense of humor and is aware of Cavezza’s legacy.
Cavezza — a retired lieutenant general — was heavily involved in the Columbus 1996 Olympic effort and held key roles with the city, Columbus State University and the National Infantry Museum.
“Phenomenal role model for anybody,” Donahoe said. “So, if I can do half of what Gen. Cavezza was able to accomplish in any of his positions, we would be well served.”
Cavezza commanded Fort Benning from January 1990 through October 1991. He was in charge during Desert Storm.
“From what I hear, Gen. Donahoe has already started making connections in the community,” Cavezza said. “I think he’s going to be a great CG.”
Some Fort Benning commanders like to stick close to the post. That will not be Donahoe. He promises to be visible and active in the community that surrounds the post.
“It is critical that the professional military members, our soldiers and officers, remain in contact with the people whose name they fight. We are still an Army at war. It is critical that I, as the commanding general of Fort Benning am connected deeply and broadly to the people of the Chattahoochee Valley. So yes, expect to see me downtown.”