By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
U.S. commander attends Iraq change of command
cucolo - iraq change command 4
Two Iraqi officers stand at attention during the cremony. - photo by U.S. Army photo
Surrounded by Task Force Marne partners, Maj. Gen. Abul Amier Ridha Mohammed Al-Zaidi, former commander of the Iraqi army’s 12th division, bid farewell to his soldiers on April 20 during a change of command ceremony at the Kirkuk Training Center. Brig. Gen. Sameer Abdul Kareem assumed command of 12th division.
Guests who attended the event included Task Force Marne Commanding General Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo; Task Force Marne Deputy Commanding General Maneuver Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II; Col. Larry Swift, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas; Lt.  Col. Charles Freeman, senior advisor to the 12th Military Transition Team; Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, command sergeant major 1/1 AD, and Kirkuk provincial senior leaders.
During the ceremony, Cucolo praised Amier.
“I would like to bid a fond farewell to my partner and brother-in-arms, Maj. Gen. Amier,” the 3rd ID commander said. Cucolo awarded Amier a Meritorious Service Medal, which is presented to senior level leadership for exceptionally meritorious service.
The incoming commander, Sameer, commended Amier for a job well done. He also discussed his plans for the future. “As we are doing now, we will fight as one for the city of Kirkuk,” Sameer said. “We are almost to the end of this fight against terrorism.”
Cucolo assured the incoming IA commander — and new partner — that U.S. forces will continue to support the Iraqi army. “I would like to make my commitment to the senior leadership of Kirkuk and Brig. Gen. Sameer known,” the general said. “The support of Iraqi security forces and the people of Kirkuk will not waiver.”
Before the end of the ceremony, Amier offered advice to the incoming commander. “You must depend on the citizens of Kirkuk and local authorities to help you fight terrorism, if you do this you will succeed,” he said.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters