Bundeswehr Honors American General

Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commander of U.S. Army Europe (on podium at left), observes the German Grand Tattoo conducted by soldiers from the Bundeswehr on the parade ground at Campbell Barracks March 2 here.

Bundeswehr Honors American General

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
February 25, 2011

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The Bundeswehr, or German Armed Forces, honored Gen. Carter F. Ham, the U.S. Army Europe commander, in a ceremony on Campbell Barracks here March 2 commemorating his time spent as commander of the U.S. Army Europe.

Before the ceremony, Ham gave his farewell remarks to guests at a reception.

“I am so very proud of all that the Soldiers, civilians and family members of the United States Army Europe have accomplished,” Ham said. “It has been my great privilege for these past two and a half years to serve alongside you.”

Ham called training USAREUR Soldiers and their European partners for deployment the command’s most vital task.

“The most important mission, as we’ve said since day one, is to train and prepare our forces that have to deploy for other operations, whether it’s Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans or anywhere else in the world,” Ham said.

Following the reception was the German Grand Tattoo.The tattoo is a nighttime ceremony in which soldiers march by torchlight to the music of a military band.  The Grand Tattoo is the Bundeswehr’s highest ceremonial honor, and is usually reserved for three- and four-star generals, said Bundeswehr Chief of Staff Gen. Volker Wieker.

The ceremony saluted Ham’s tenure as USAREUR commander. He is scheduled to assume command of U.S. Africa Command this month.