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Press Release | Oct. 15, 2021

SOUTHCOM to host change-of-command ceremony Oct. 29

Change of Command Digital Press Kit


MIAMI -- U.S. Army Gen. Laura J. Richardson is scheduled to assume duties as commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) from U.S. Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller during a change-of-command ceremony 1 p.m. 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, will be 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.

He assumed command of SOUTHCOM Nov. 26, 2018, after serving as the principal military advisor and assistant to former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis. As SOUTHCOM Commander, Faller oversaw the command’s assistance to COVID response efforts in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; disaster relief operations in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Central America and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti; two U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort deployments; and increased resourcing in support of counter-narcotics operations in the region.

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. She began her Army career as an aviation officer and has commanded from the company to Theater Army level. She previously served as the commanding general of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

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.

Richardson is married to Lt. Gen. Jim Richardson, who is currently serving as deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Futures Command in Austin, Texas.

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

Due to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, attendance at the ceremony will be restricted, and news media coverage will be facilitated via a live satellite feed, streaming video and the post-ceremony release of video and photos via the Defense Visual Information Distribution System.

Note to interested journalists and news desks: Details of the ceremony’s live satellite feed and live internet streaming will be announced via a separate media advisory once the information is confirmed.

Note: Release updated Oct. 26 to reflect Gen. Richardson's new rank and add link to digital press kit.

Point of Contact:

Jose Ruiz, U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs Office

Office: 305-437-1213

Cell: 305-586-3657