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Fort Drum learns of the new rear detachment general

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FORT DRUM — The Army has selected the general who will lead the post and 10th Mountain Division when the division’s headquarters leaves for a much-discussed deployment to Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Michael L. Howard, who serves as director, future operations for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan, will become senior commander at a time to be determined.

The title of senior commander has been used to describe leaders who take up the rear detachment roles, including Maj. Gen. Harry E. Miller Jr., who served as senior rear commander from October 2010 to October 2011, when the division headquarters was deployed to Afghanistan.

Gen. Howard was nominated for his current rank in December.

The placement, first announced by the Department of Defense on July 25, drew some initial confusion, with concerns that it meant the replacement of post and division commander Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend.

However, it was clarified that the placement was meant for the rear detachment role.

A spokesman said Tuesday the post would not comment on the announcement.

Though a division headquarters deployment has been discussed frequently in recent months, it has not been listed formally by the Department of Defense.

Gen. Townsend has discussed the anticipated headquarters deployment several times, including an Aug. 6 statement announcing the military’s decision to reduce furlough days for civilian workers during the current fiscal year.

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