As the sun rises and the day unfolds, stars seemingly disappear from the sky however; one new star is left in plain sight for all to see.

Col. Jeffery Underhill, commanding general, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), was promoted to Brigadier General, here, Dec. 2.

During his remarks at the promotion ceremony, Underhill, an Ironton, Ohio native, sighted many positions in his career that allowed him to grow into a leader. One position in particular was serving as the aid-de-camp for former Chief of Staff of the Army and current Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Honorable Eric K. Shinseki.

"He (Shinseki) has always been my leadership role-model since I was a senior major and I have yet to match-up to his exceptional leadership abilities," said Underhill during his remarks.

The Army non-commissioned officer corps also played a big role in helping Underhill get to where he is today.

"I can count on both hands those who have had a profound effect on me throughout my career. I have had the opportunity to be mentored by the best. Predominately senior non-commissioned officers, they have all made me what I am today more than any other influence throughout my career," said Underhill.

During Underhill's remarks it was evident that family was a driving factor for his success. Underhill thanked his mother and spoke fondly of his father, who also served and died on active duty in the U.S. Air Force when Underhill was 16 years old. "I owe him a debt of gratitude for shaping me as a young teenager and giving me the opportunity to find my niche in life," he said.

Last he thanked his former high school sweetheart and wife of over 25 years, the former Kelli Bamer, who is also an Ironton native. "You are always the boss regardless of what rank I pin on and thank you for the sacrifice you've made over the years for me and our family," said Underhill.

The promotion was administered by Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC). Mixon's remarks made it clear that he had the upmost confidence in the abilities and skills that Underhill brought to the 94th AAMDC and the USARPAC team.

"Jeff (Underhill) assumed command of the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command last June bringing his vast knowledge of air defense capabilities and operations in addition to his experience in senior staff positions, and demonstrated ability to command and lead Soldiers," said Mixon. "The secret of his success is the empowerment of his first, second and third line leaders. His approach results in initiative, ownership and elicits teamwork on behalf of the command."

Mixon continued, "Jeff, opportunity may have given you a great start but it is your ability to lead, train, and mentor Soldiers that has resulted in your selection for promotion into the general officer ranks. We are very proud and fortunate to have you on the team."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16