Taking command: Warren native assumes command of Army Reserve’s 78th Training Division

Photo provided to the Times Observer U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Edward H. Merrigan, Jr., Commanding General of the 84th Training Command, hands off the flag to Brig. Gen. Andrew F. Scarcella, incoming commander of the 78th Training Division, during a change of command ceremony held last month at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

A Warren native has taken the of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 78th Training Division.

Brig. Gen. Andrew F. Scarcella assumed the top post for the division at Ft. Dix last month.

“To Maj. Gen. Merrigan, thank you for your trust and confidence in me,” Scarcella said during the change of command ceremony per a statement from the Army Reserve. “I cannot fully express how grateful I am to have this opportunity to lead the 78th Lightning Division. I will always endeavor to do my best, and I will not let you down, sir.”

He takes over the command from Brig. Gen. Christopher W. Cook.

“To Brig. Gen. Chris Cook, thank you for everything you have done and accomplished leading the division,” Scarcella said. “I truly appreciate all that you have done to make this a smooth and seamless transition.

Scarcella previously served as Deputy Commanding General – Support of the 88th Readiness Division in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Maj. Gen. Edward H. Merrigan, the commander of 84th Training Command said that he “cannot think of a better senior officer to replace Chris Cook than Andy Scarcella.

“I have full faith and confidence in your abilities to command and to take the 78th to the next level,” he said.

The Army Reserve said in a statement that Scarcella “brings a wealth of experience honed through deployments to Iraq and Kosovo.”

His academic credentials include a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Notre Dame. He graduated from Warren Area High School in 1990.

His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the prestigious Ranger Tab.

Scarcella was the speaker at Warren’s Flag Day commemoration last year.

During that event, he said he held one of the flags for this event 40 years ago.

“I learned appreciation of the flag growing up in Warren,” he said.

Scarcella said the flag is not just a symbol of our country but also of our culture and is the “one thing that unites us all as Americans.”

He said he can say from experience that the world is still a dangerous place and asked those in attendance to put aside “lively debate” and reflect on the freedoms we have today and those who fought to preserve those freedoms and our way of life.

Scarcella resides in Alexandria, Va. with his wife and son. He is the son of Tom and Diane Scarcella of Warren and the grandson of the late Edna and Frank Scarcella of Sheffield, Elizabeth and Robert Jones of Sheffield, and Edwin Anderson of Warren.

According to the Army Reserve, the 78th Training Division, also known as the “Lightning Division,” is headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

“Its lineage stretches back to World War I, where it participated in pivotal campaigns like St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne,” a statement said. “Today, the 78th TD carries on that proud tradition by providing realistic and challenging training that prepares Army Reserve units for the full spectrum of modern warfare.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today