Honoring General Larry R. Ellis, Commanding General, US Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA

Date: May 4, 2004
Location: Washington, DC


TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2004

Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor General Larry R. Ellis, Commanding General of U.S. Army Forces Command, on the occasion of his retirement from military service on May 7, 2004. His distinguished military career spans more than 35 years and as a four-star general and Commander of United States Army Forces Command he is the highest ranking African American officer within any branch of the United States military.

General Ellis assumed his current post as Commander, U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), at Fort McPherson, Georgia on November 21, 2001. FORSCOM, the Army's largest major command, consists of more than 750,000 Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers. FORSCOM trains, mobilizes, deploys and sustains combat ready forces capable of responding rapidly to crises world-wide. The FORSCOM commander functions as commander of the Army forces of this unified command and plans for and, on order, provides military support to civil authorities, including response to natural disasters and civil emergencies.

As the Army service component commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command, General Ellis has been responsible for the training and readiness of Army forces stationed in the continental U.S. and with the mission of performing as the Department of Defense's premier force provider, meeting the needs of Combatant Commanders worldwide. Therefore, General Ellis has overseen the preparation and deployment of every active duty division in the United States. In addition, he has commanded the mobilization, training, and deployment of more than 225,000 reserve component soldiers in more than 550 units across the nation.

Previously, General Ellis commanded the 1st Armored Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany from May, 1997 to July, 1999. Following this division command, General Ellis served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, and Plans from August, 1999 to November, 2001. When terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, General Ellis was responsible for Army operations, planned and executed the Army's role in the National Military Strategy, and developed and implemented the Army's Transformation Campaign Plan. The Army's Transformation Campaign Plan serves as the Army's roadmap into the 21st century which General Ellis devised as a comprehensive modernization of the Army's doctrine, training, leadership and education, organizations, soldiers, personnel, and facilities through the year 2010. As part of this project, he oversaw the research, development, and fielding of the Stryker family of vehicles and designed "Task Force Soldier" which codified the Army's warrior ethos and fostered the redesign of basic combat training.

General Ellis devised the Army's initial response to the September 11th attacks which involved the deployment of force protection and security units to Washington, D.C. and the Capitol region, chemical and munitions storage facilities, airports and other transportation terminals, military installations across the world, and the nation's borders. He also led the deployment of Army forces to combat the war on terror in Afghanistan.

General Ellis has served in the United States, Vietnam, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. His command assignments include lst Armored Division, Germany; Multinational Division (North), Bosnia and Herzegovina; Assistant Division Commander, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Brigade Commander, 3d Infantry Division, Germany Battalion Commander, 5th Infantry Division, Fort Polk, La.; Company Commander, 101st Airborne Division, Vietnam; and 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

General Ellis' awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with three stars, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three stars, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry/Palm, the Korean Cheonsu Medal, the German Armed Forces Honor Cross (Gold), the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the Office of Secretary of Defense Staff Identification Badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and the Army General Staff Identification Badge.

General Ellis received a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University and a Master of Science degree from Indiana University. He is married to Jean and has two daughters, Renee and Debra. Ebony Magazine recently recognized General Ellis as one of the "100 plus most influential people in America." General Ellis enjoys physical fitness activities, traveling, and playing golf. Responding to an inquiry about his future plans, General Ellis says he is "sprinting to the finish line, moving 101 miles per hour, and has not slowed to consider what he will do following retirement."

Due to his honorable military career, I am pleased to honor him and his service to this great country. God bless General Larry Ellis and his family.