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Fort Riley welcomes its first woman as deputy commanding general

Col. Niave Knell salutes Brig. Gen. James Bonner (Brian Hill/U.S. Army)

Fort Riley recently welcomed the 1st Infantry Division’s first female deputy commanding general.

Officials on Friday celebrated Brig. Gen. Niave Knell becoming the deputy commanding general-support and recognized her predecessor, Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Norman.

Knell is also the first officer of the military police branch to serve as a deputy commanding general in a U.S. Army division.

Knell, who is from Milford, Massachusetts, was commissioned in 1992 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Knell received a bachelor’s degree in comparative politics and a master’s degree in business and organizational security management from Webster University, among other educational achievements.

“I’m honored to serve in this position,” she said. “I really thank Maj. Gen. John Meyer, command Sgt. Maj. Mullinax, and the rest of the command team for having such an amazing vision for Fort Riley, and I am proud to serve that mission.”

Knell previously served as commandant of United States Military Police School at United States Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Meyer, Fort Riley’s commanding general, attended the ceremony virtually from Europe.

“(Knell) is the right leader and this is the right family for the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley while we are forward-deployed,” he said. “She has the experience and the passion to lead the installation and the brigades that are there.”

Norman said he “could not be more honored” to pass the duties to Knell.

“You have an amazing reputation which has been well earned by decades of exceptional service both stateside and in combat,” he said. “You are exactly the right leader for this important mission as the DCG-S of Fort Riley and the acting senior commander back here.”


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