Richardson Assumes Command of SOUTHCOM

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  • U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

U.S. Army Gen. Laura J. Richardson assumed duties as commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) from U.S. Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller during a change-of-command ceremony on Oct. 29 at the command’s headquarters.

Richardson, who previously served as commanding general of U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, was promoted to the rank of general before the Oct. 29 ceremony.

Faller will retire after nearly four decades of distinguished military service as a naval officer, including various command and operational assignments aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, destroyers, and cruisers. In 2004, as commanding officer of the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), Faller and his crew assisted victims of a devastating tsunami in Indonesia. As commander of John C. Stennis Strike Group (Carrier Strike Group 3), he deployed to the Middle East supporting Operations New Dawn in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Richardson’s presidential nomination to command SOUTHCOM Aug. 11.

The Colorado native is a 1986 graduate of Metropolitan State College in Denver, a 1997 graduate of the Army Command and Staff College, and a 2007 graduate of the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. Richardson began her Army career as an aviation officer and has commanded from the company to Theater Army level.

Richardson’s career also includes assignments as Military Aide to the Vice President at the White House and Chief of Army Legislative Liaison to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. She deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

SOUTHCOM is one of the nation’s six geographically focused unified commands. The command is responsible for U.S. defense and security cooperation with partner nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, as well as U.S. military operations in the region. For more information about the command visit