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'Nothing tops the feel of coming home:' New Fort Carson leader has a familiar face

June 11, 2017 Updated: June 12, 2017 at 7:23 am
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Col. David Hodne speaks Friday, June 9, 2017, during a welcome ceremony for the incoming 4th Infantry Division Deputy Commander at Fort Carson. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Fort Carson welcomed Col. David Hodne back to the post last week as he assumed the No. 2 job there.

After being away for 15 months, Hodne returned to Fort Carson as the new deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Division.

"Nothing tops the feel of coming home," Hodne told a crowd at a ceremony that welcomed him back.

While he was away, Hodne served as the top aide to U.S. Central Command boss Joe Votel, a job that took him to war zones around the Middle East.

"We are so excited to have Col. Hodne back," said post spokesman Lt. Col. Jason S. Brown. "There's no doubt he'll do a tremendous job."

On his last tour at Fort Carson, Hodne led the post's 1st Brigade Combat Team as it transitioned from 72-ton M-1 tanks to nimble eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles.

On his return, Hodne said hopes to refamiliarize himself with the base.

"A lot has changed," Hodne said. "Initially, I want to learn what's changed in the division and leverage my experience in the past to keep moving forward."

Hodne said he learned a lot while working for the command that is overseeing American efforts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

"I am sincerely appreciative of the incredible opportunities and experience gained while serving at U.S. Central Command," Hodne said.

The happy homecoming will be a brief one. Hodne will be departing in a few weeks.

"He's going to go pretty quick and take over our Mission Command Element in Poland," said Fort Carson boss Maj. Gen. Ryan F. Gonsalves.

A small chunk of the division's headquarters is in Europe, and Hodne will serve there for about a six-month tour, Brown said.

That element in Europe is now leading Fort Carson troops and allied forces in the largest training exercise on the continent since the end of the Cold War.

"I very much look forward to joining this Iron Horse team leading the way in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe," Hodne said.

Amid all the moving, Hodne took time to appreciate the moment. It's good to be home, he said.

"I'm so proud and humbled to wear the 4th Infantry Division patch on my shoulder," he said.

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