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St. Bonaventure University alumnus Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, ’89, has assumed command of the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) and Fort Polk, La.
An installation change of command in which Frank became the commanding general was held at Fort Polk’s Warrior Field Feb. 28. During the ceremony, reviewing officer Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, deputy commanding general of United States Army Forces Command, passed the installation colors to Frank, representing the passing of command from one leader to the next.
The JRTC and Fort Polk is a sprawling Army installation in central Louisiana where leadership is a complex assignment with myriad duties. As the Army’s premier training center, about one-third of the Army’s brigade combat teams, Army National Guard and Reserve units and their associated rotational unit enablers train here each year to meet their readiness requirements. This is the JRTC and Fort Polk’s most important Army level requirement and influences all other operations on Fort Polk. The JRTC and Fort Polk has trained and deployed thousands of soldiers to defend the country since the Global War on Terror began.
In support of rotational soldiers — and those stationed at Fort Polk — are civilians who work in agencies across the installation. Fort Polk contributes more than 14,000 jobs and $760 million in payroll to the economy. With a population of 32,000, Fort Polk has an estimated annual impact to Louisiana of $1.45 billion (as of 2016).
Richardson lauded Frank for the experience and leadership he brings to Fort Polk.
“He is a terrific leader with immense capability, and is no stranger to preparing formations for combat,” she said. “His unique experiences make him exceptionally qualified to lead JRTC and Team Polk.”
Army readiness is at the forefront of the JRTC and Fort Polk mission, said Frank, but also of prime importance is the quality of life for soldiers and their families.
“They serve and sacrifice every day for our nation, the Army and Fort Polk. It is my honor to serve by their side as we write the next chapter of JRTC and Fort Polk history and build readiness for the Army,” he said.
Frank graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and was commissioned as an infantry officer. He holds a master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University; a master’s in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College; and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. Frank is a 1985 graduate of Cuba Central High School.
Throughout his career, Frank has served in a variety of command and staff assignments throughout the world. Before his assignment to Fort Polk, Frank served as the deputy commanding general and acting senior commander of 1stInfantry Division – “the Big Red One” – at Fort Riley, Kan. He has deployed in the surge of forces to Kandahar, Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom XII-XIII and to Baghdad as part of the surge during Operation Iraqi Freedom-V.
Frank was promoted to brigadier general on Dec. 4, 2015. He was inducted into the Seneca Battalion Hall of Fame at St. Bonaventure in 2016.
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