(JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON) - After 36 years of service, Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, Commanding General of U.S. Army South, has retired following a change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston on Oct. 3. He lead U.S. Army South since June 2015.
Chinn previously served as the Commanding General of Fort Polk and Joint Readiness Training Center from Jan. 2011 to Nov. 2012. Chinn left Fort Polk to serve as the Deputy Commanding General CJTF-101 for Afghan National Security Forces Development South of Kabul, Afghanistan. He served as the Deputy Commanding General for United States Army Special Operations Command prior to assuming command of U.S. Army South.
DeRidder Mayor Ron Roberts praised Chinn’s service, particularly during his time at Fort Polk and emphasized that the former CG often reached out to the local community.
“Gen. Chinn always showed an exceptional interest in our community,” Roberts said. “He was a good leader, a good partner and a good friend. He was the very best example of thoughtful and decisive leadership.”
Michael Reese, Chairman of Fort Polk Progress said Chinn was an outstanding community partner that recognized the mutually beneficial relationship between the installation and the regional community.
“Major General Chinn always included community leaders from the Ft. Polk region in all long term planning meetings along side his military team. He understood how important it was for the off-base community to understand the Army plan so the community could make long-term plans to support those same objectives,” Reese said.
“In addition, Major General Chinn took every opportunity to tell the Ft. Polk story. Whenever senior Army leaders were being hosted on the installation, MG Chinn made sure to include school representatives and community leaders to showcase not just the capabilities on the installation, but also those of the community partners. It was an honor to work alongside such a great leader.”
Maj. Gen. Chinn said previously said Fort Polk and JRTC play an essential role in national defense at large. He said his tenure there also helped him further his career in the Army and that he and his spouse Val enjoyed resounding support from the community while they were stationed there.
"Val and I want to thank the great Fort Polk community for the great teamwork while we served at Fort Polk, the Home of Heroes," he said previously. "The Fort Polk community and their support to the Army as we executed realistic, relevant and rigorous training at JRTC in preparing Brigade Combat Teams for combat operations had a huge role in my being provided an opportunity to command at the 2 star level. Thanks to all for the friendship and support."
Chinn is a 1981 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and received a Master's degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. As an Infantry officer, he has served in a variety of command and staff positions in Airborne, Air Assault, Light Infantry, and Ranger units. Chinn was deployed many times over his career in support of Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Just Cause, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (2OLC), Bronze Star (3OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (5OLC), the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (1OLC), the Valorous Unit Award, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Arrowhead (1OLC), the Master Parachutist Badge with two Bronze Service Stars, Parachutist badges from Jordan, Germany, Chile, Canada, the Combat Infantryman Badge (2d award), Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Ranger Tab.
Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammar assumed command of U.S. Army South during the ceremony.