Fort Jackson commanding general promoted
July 24, 2014
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (July 24, 2014) -- Fort Jackson is now led by one of the Army's newest two-star generals, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker. Becker was promoted in a ceremony July 18 at Victory Field, where friends and family from across the country gathered to show their support.
"This is a big day for Fort Jackson," Becker said. "This is humbling, but it's not about anything that I've done, but it's about all the great Soldiers and leaders whom I've worked with over the years and what they've done for our Army."
One of those leaders is retired Col. John Paolucci, who was Becker's first battalion commander in Schweinfurt, Germany, and presided over the ceremony. Paolucci told the story of how Becker's past has shaped his present.
"The distance between us day-to-day was pretty gray. However, Brad was on my scope early because of the great work he did providing support, training infantry NCOs in fire support procedures, successfully leading his team during training and training evaluations," he said.
Paolucci explained Becker's work ethic did not go unnoticed by his fellow Soldiers.
"The newly-appointed commanders made it a point to tell me about this sharp young officer who was doing such good work in their units, so he was somebody to keep an eye on," he said.
The road from second lieutenant to major general is a notable achievement, Paolucci said.
"Brad has always displayed a willingness to work hard (at) every task to achieve excellent results across the board. Whether it was training his team, physical training or serving as the battalion staff duty officer, he approached it all as a professional," he said. "He embraced every aspect of what it means to be an officer -- not just the parts that appealed to him, but gave all of it his best shot all the time. At the time, I remember thinking -- and I still do -- that Brad is and was the epitome of the three-word couplet we so often use in the Army -- 'be, know, do.'"
'Be, know, do' stands for being the best version of yourself you can possibly be; knowing your strengths and weaknesses; and doing your job, Paolucci explained.
"His promotion today proves that the Army believes his potential is still untapped," Paolucci said. "I believe these six words described Maj. Gen. Becker back then and today: be, know, do, honor, courage and country."
Following Paolucci's remarks, he and Becker's wife, Sherri, pinned Becker's new rank on his uniform coat. Becker then removed his coat and his two sons, Derek and Andrew, placed the new insignia on his shirt.
In his speech, Becker thanked Paolucci and other Soldiers he worked with throughout his career.
"I didn't show up to Germany thinking, 'I am going to do this for 20 years.' I thought, 'I'll do this for three years and go to law school,'" Becker said.
"Well, I had such a great experience under Paolucci's leadership -- I said, 'Man, this is fantastic. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do, and so I am going to go to the career course, try to command a battery, and then I'll figure out what I am going to do next.' Then, 28 years later, I think I am going to stick around and make it a career," Becker said.