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Burleson ’88 Hands Eighth Army to Successor, Ending Nearly 4 Decades of Army Service

Category: Grad News
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A three-star general bid an emotional farewell to hundreds of U.S. and South Korean soldiers as he relinquished command of Eighth Army during a ceremony on April 5, 2024. LTG Willard Burleson ’88 handed command to LTG Christopher LaNeve and will soon retire after 36 years of military service. 

LaNeve comes to Eighth Army from U.S. Army Forces Command, where he was special assistant to the commander at Fort Liberty, N.C. 

“The group of soldiers that you see here out in front represent the nearly 35,000 American and Korean soldiers and civilians that are part of Eighth Army today,” Burleson said, standing before a formation of over 400 soldiers, a Stryker vehicle and a Patriot missile launcher. 

Burleson took command of Eighth Army on Oct. 2, 2020, and during his tenure continued large-scale military exercises by U.S. and South Korean troops aimed at deterring North Korea. The allied forces held their largest live-fire military drill in May.

Burleson, previously the assistant chief of staff for operations for U.S. Forces Korea and commander of the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., was commissioned in 1988 at the U.S. Military Academy. He went on to serve with the 82nd Airborne Division in Kosovo and Afghanistan. His last day as a soldier will be June 1, according to a readout of his retirement certificate.

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