Christopher Cavoli, former commanding general of the U.S. Army’s Europe and Africa divisions, has been sworn in to lead the U.S. European Command.
The new appointment was commemorated in a ceremony at Patch Barracks, Germany on Friday, where Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin passed the American flag from predecessor General Tod Wolters to Cavoli to symbolize the transition, USEUCOM said.
“General Cavoli is exceptionally well-prepared to further strengthen NATO’s posture on its Eastern Flank—and to help forge a truly 21st-century security architecture for Europe,” Austin effused.
Austin, who is a two-time recipient of the Wash100 Award, also expressed confidence in the timing of Cavoli’s instatement and in the viability of his skill set and experience.
Across his over three-decade military career, Cavoli has occupied posts such as director for Russia on the Joint Staff and Major General, with additional deployments in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Cavoli has served as a foreign area officer fluent in Italian, Russian and French. He has garnered awards and recognitions such as the Army Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three service stars.
The general has earned fellowships at National Defense University, the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies and the Army Chief of Staff’s Strategic Studies Group.
In succeeding Wolters as commander, Cavoli is inheriting a position that has endured a trying few years, a span including Russia’s unsubstantiated invasion of Ukraine as well as Operation Allies Refuge/Welcome and Afghanistan’s non-combatant evacuation.
During the Patch Barracks ceremony, Austin commended Wolters’ accomplishments as noteworthy and “historic,” adding, “you’re meeting Russian aggression with unity, with spine, and with steel.”