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Commanding General talks return to Fort Sill, plans for future

Major General Brian McKiernan (Source U.S. Army) Major General Brian McKiernan (Source U.S. Army)

FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) – Four months after taking over as Fort Sill's Commanding General, Major General Brian McKiernan is discussing his latest return to the post and what he plans to accomplish.

McKiernan most recently served at Fort Meade, Maryland as the commander of the First Army Division East. This isn't his first time at Fort Sill.  He completed his training here back in the 1980s and, most recently, served as the commandant of the Field Artillery School in 2012 and 2013.

"It's like coming home,” McKiernan said. “The Lawton/Fort Sill community probably has no rival in my estimation of the positive relationship between the installation, the soldiers and the civilians that work there and the local community. For me, it's like rejoining old friends."

McKiernan said he tries his best to get out and about and interact with the soldiers stationed here, whether that involves stopping by a Drill Sergeant certification program to quiz the Drill Sergeants or what he called one of his favorite moments since being back--running into a group of soldiers going through basic training.

"Every one of them was excited about what they were doing, felt a sense of pride and a sense of purpose and was very glad they had made the decision they did to join. That's somebody at the very beginning of a life cycle of being a soldier,” McKiernan said.

Now that McKiernan has had a few months to settle into his new job, his vision at Fort Sill is to create the premier FIRES force in the world.

"We're going to maintain focus on the future FIRES force we need to develop to contend with very, very complex threats with robust capabilities and we're going to continue to invest in our human capital to make sure they are the best trained and the best-led soldiers, FIRES soldiers on the planet,” McKiernan said.

He said he knows changes in The White House will bring about changes at Fort Sill, but says he's not exactly sure what those changes will be.

"Hopeful that we'll gain a little bit more clarity and a little bit more predictability in budgets going forward. I think that would be very important for the Department of Defense and for our army to be able to have predictable funding,” McKiernan said.

McKiernan says back in the 1980s when he was first stationed at Fort Sill, simply as Lieutenant McKiernan, that he would have never imagined he'd make it this far.

"To look back then and think that I would someday be sitting here in McNair Hall in this capacity I would tell you not in a million years. The Army has been really great for me and my family, it's just been a great opportunity and it's been a great honor to be able to serve,” McKiernan said.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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