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NEWS | Aug. 7, 2023

63rd RD hosts change of command and retirement for outgoing commander

By Sgt. Ian Valley 345th Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Miles Davis relinquished duties as the commanding general of the 63rd Readiness Division to Maj. Gen. Tracy Smith during a change of command ceremony held at Shenandoah Plaza Parade Grounds in the NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, Mountain View, California, on Aug. 5, 2023.

The change of command also signified the retirement of Davis after a prestigious 38 year career with the U.S. Army.

Davis assumed the role as the commanding general of the 63rd RD on Nov. 5, 2021. As the commanding general of 63rd RD, his area of responsibility was the seven-southwestern states of the U.S. including California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Davis was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant through the Army ROTC Program at Eastern Michigan University in May 1988. Davis has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College.

Some of his notable assignments include chief of staff, 412th Theater Engineer Command, commanding general, 98th Division, and assistant to the deputy commanding general – readiness, United States Army Reserve Command, and commanding general, 76th Operational Response Command.

He is also a recipient of both the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and a Bronze Star.

The 63rd RD holds a special place in Davis’s heart.

“To the Soldiers, civilians and families of the 63rd Readiness Division,” Davis said. “I want to truly thank you for allowing me to be part of the blood and fire family.”
‘Blood and fire’ is the 63rd RD’s motto. “To serve beside you in the best command in the United States Army Reserve has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Davis said.

Davis thanked many distinguished guests and visitors, specifically naming a few key guests for their guidance, support, and mentorship throughout his command. He also acknowledged his family who has stood by him through his long career.

“To my wife and longtime battle buddy and to my children,” Davis said, “Who have truly carried the heavy rucksack of my 38 years of service; I could not have made it without you.”

Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Eugene Leboeuf, deputy commanding general, United States Army Reserve Command, presided over the change of command ceremony, where he accepted the 63rd RD guidon from Davis, and transitioned command to Smith.

The change of command ceremony is a tradition where the outgoing commander symbolically relinquishes command and authority by passing the division’s colors to the presiding officer, who will hand the colors to the incoming commander, thus beginning a new era of leadership for the incoming commander and the division.
Smith, who formerly commanded the 807th Medical Command, received the unit colors during the ceremony, symbolizing her assumption of command of the 63rd RD.

During his speech, Davis acknowledged that the 63rd would be in good hands under the leadership of Smith.

“The future of the 63rd Readiness Division command is bright,” Davis said. “Tracy, I know you are the right person to take this command.”

To conclude the ceremony, Smith thanked all those who helped her get to where she is, as well as talked about her respect for the position she would be accepting.

“I am truly honored to serve as the next commanding general,” Smith said, “But more so, I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of those who served before me.”