The Army this morning released the name of the two-star general who will command the new division headquarters that sets up this fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord – the first division HQ here in more than 20 years.
Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, an Iraq war veteran who currently works as the Army’s chief of public affairs, will assume command of the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters when the unit is reactivated Oct. 1.
“The growth of this installation, and its increased significance in our nation’s defense strategy, makes this an important and challenging assignment,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said in a statement. “I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with Major General Steve Lanza. He’s a tested warrior, a proven leader, and an effective, tenacious commander.”
The division headquarters will not deploy, unlike the Army’s other eight active-duty division HQs. Its role is to provide oversight for personnel, equipment, training and readiness of three Stryker infantry brigades, an artillery brigade and a combat aviation brigade. That gives Lanza administrative responsibility on the homefront for some 17,000 soldiers, which is about half the number of troops at Lewis-McChord after a decade of rapid growth.
Fort Lewis had a division headquarters until 1991, when the Army deactivated the 9th Infantry Division.
Lanza will be the second highest-ranking general on the Army side of the joint Army-Air Force base south of Tacoma. The 7th Infantry Division will report to the three-star general leading the I Corps at Lewis-McChord. That post is now held by Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who is in Afghanistan with the corps. He is scheduled to return this summer and be succeeded later this year at Lewis-McChord by Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, who is in line for his third star.
Trained as a field artillery officer, Lanza commanded a cavalry brigade in Iraq in 2005 and later returned to that country as a director and spokesman of United States Forces-Iraq in 2008-9. He had other tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996-97 and Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
He said in a statement that he was “honored and excited” about the opportunity at Lewis-McChord.