Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The sound of 15 volleys of cannon fire rang through Fort Leavenworth as Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy relinquished command of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth to Lt. Gen. James Rainey in a ceremony Dec. 16 in the Lewis and Clark Center’s Eisenhower Auditorium.
Lundy became the 23rd commanding general of CAC and Fort Leavenworth on June 1, 2016. While here, Lundy assumed the lead for the synchronization of leader development across the Army, the management of the Army’s training support and training development enterprises, and the development and integration of the doctrine the Army uses to fight and win the nation’s wars.
“Our nation and our Army owe a great debt to Mike Lundy. He is one of the most selfless, professional and intelligent warriors I know,” said Gen. Paul Funk II, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command commanding general. “The Combined Arms Center is the epicenter for change in our Army, and for the last three and a half years, Mike has led the 30,000-strong organization as it has reoriented the Army from counterinsurgency focus back to large-scale ground combat operations. His efforts will continue to shape the Army for years to come.
“Few opportunities compare to that of commanding soldiers, America’s sons and daughters,” he said. “Know that your contributions have made our Army a better organization and our future accomplishments will continue to make the Army and the lives of our soldiers better every day.”
Funk said the opinion of a peer is the most unvarnished of all, so he shared words from Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, Department of the Army director in Washington, D.C., whom Lundy has served alongside throughout his career.
“‘The reality is, Mike is as tough as they come. From cadet to lieutenant general, Mike Lundy has led through the most difficult times,’” Funk quoted. “‘Our Army and our nation are better because of Mike Lundy… He has carried me through the Army.’”
Lundy said when he arrived, he gave the CAC team the challenge to change the Army.
“You met that challenge head on and you delivered. …It has been absolutely amazing to watch all of you in action,” Lundy said. “I have been humbled, I have been awed. You’ve forced me to be better every day, and I’ve learned so much from all of you.
“It has been a true privilege and a great honor to watch all of you do what is right for our Army, do what is right for our soldiers, do what our soldiers’ parents expect us to do, to be able to maintain that trust with the strength of our nation, the American people,” he said. “You’ve all done that… You’ve made our Army better, and you’ll continue to do that.”
With his relinquishment of command, Lundy retired from active duty after 32 years of service.
Rainey commissioned into the Army as an infantry officer in 1987.
His command assignments include platoon leader and company executive officer in the 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and, later, platoon leader and company executive officer in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in Fort Bragg, N.C.; commander of the Long Range Surveillance Detachment in the 1st Cavalry Division and H Company, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) in Fort Myer, Va.; G3 operations officer in the V Corps Assault Command Post during Operation Iraqi Freedom; executive officer of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and then commanded Task Force 2-7 Cavalry during Operation Iraqi Freedom II; commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo.; director of the Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth; deputy commanding general of 4th Infantry Division and Regional Command-South during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; commandant of the Infantry School and chief of infantry at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.; commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and deputy commanding general-support for U.S. Forces – Afghanistan; commander of Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan; and commander of Joint Task Force-3 in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.
Rainey’s most recent assignment was commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan and deputy chief of staff security assistance at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Rainey’s key staff assignments include Joint Chiefs of Staff intern in Washington, D.C.; chief of plans for the 2nd Infantry Division and operations officer for 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment; executive officer to III Corps commander; chief of War on Terror plans for U.S. European Command; G-3 of the 4th Infantry Division and the Multi-national Division – Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi freedom; and assistant deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7 for Department of the Army Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Rainey is a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies.
Along with his assumption of command, Rainey assumed responsibilities as the new commandant of the Command and General Staff College.
“As Winston Churchill once said, ‘The price of greatness is responsibility,’” Funk said. “Jim, your reward is increased responsibility. Leading change is difficult.”
Funk said when the difficult times come, Rainey should remember the words of President Theodore Roosevelt.
“‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,’” Funk quoted. “‘The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.’”
Rainey said being selected as the commanding general of CAC and Fort Leavenworth is a dream job.
“I first fell in love with the Army in Eastern Kentucky University … and when I came here as a major I fell back in love with the Army. I fell in love with the profession, and I decided that I was going to do this as long as the Army would have me,” Rainey said. “This is the place I want to be more than anything. It is an honor to be selected to command here. It is a privilege I do not take lightly. You get everything I have every single day and that is all that I ask out of all of you.”