First Army Leader is Leaving

March  11, 2013

     Once again, Mick Bednarek is preparing to move. The commanding general of the First Army on Arsenal Island will officially relinquish his job on Thursday, and prepare for his next posting - to Iraq. Lieutenant General Bednarek emphasizes he AND his wife have served in the Army for 35 years, and this will be their 24th move.

     "I like to tell people sometimes it's easier to say the places I haven't been. It keeps us fired up, keeps us young, and keeps us focused."

     First Army is responsible for training and equipping our reserve and National Guard troops. He assumed command in April of 2011, and led the move of its headquarters from Fort Gillem, near Atlanta, to the Quad Cities three months later. 

     His next job will be the chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Baghdad, assisting the Iraqi government with training, equipping, and advising its security forces.

     "With current challengers in Syria and Iran - where Iraq is located with Turkey to the north and Iran on their eastern flank, having a reliable and strategic partner is pretty important."

     After turning over First Army to an interim leader on Thursday, General Bednarek will spend about a month in Washington, preparing for his new posting in Iraq.