Army Materiel Command commander Gen. Ann Dunwoody and Corby Dellarocco place the two-star epaulets on the uniform of Genaro Dellarocco as he is promoted from brigadier general to major general April 26. His ceremony included a touching acknowledgement of the family that has shaped the "G.I. Geno" who is known for his "heavy lifting" in support of Soldiers.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- With his new epaulets and shoulder boards in place, the newly promoted Maj. Gen. Genaro Dellarocco said, with a slight smile, "They feel heavy."

His promoting officer, Army Materiel Command commander Gen. Ann Dunwoody, smiled back, placed her hands on his shoulders and replied: "They are heavy. You don't even know."
And, with that exchange, Dellarocco became the latest Army officer at Redstone Arsenal to take on the yoke of new leadership.

In an April 26 promotion ceremony that was at times formal and official at other times quite casual, humorous and sentimental, Dellarocco exchanged his one-star general rank for that of a two-star. He will continue in his position as the program executive officer for missiles and space.
Team Redstone leadership, including Aviation and Missile Command commander Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, as well as local community and industry leaders and PEO for Missiles and Space employees joined Dellarocco and his family in celebrating the career milestone. The promotion ceremony was held in the auditorium at the Missiles and Space Intelligence Center.

"There are three things that I enjoy during the most as a commander," Dunwoody said at the opening of the ceremony. "One is re-enlisting Soldiers. Another is presenting meritorious service awards. And the third is promoting folks based on demonstrated potential. Thank you for letting me be here today to do one of the things I enjoy ... I'm glad to be here as we recognize this great Soldier and leader."

But Dunwoody didn't promote Dellarocco without first mentioning his wife, Corby, who, as an employee at the Space and Missile Defense Command, has 36 years of civil service to his 32 years in the active Army.

"No matter how many promotions you have, you'll never be senior to Corby," Dunwoody joked.
Dunwoody went on to recognize Dellarocco's family and extended family members.
"I can't tell you how much your presence means for this ceremony. Your presence gives meaning to this ceremony. Thank you for making him the great leader he is today," she said.

She also recognized leaders in the audience, and went on to express appreciation to Myles, Dellarocco and Brig. Gen. Tim Crosby, program executive officer for aviation, "for leading the way in enterprise management, team playing and making a difference."

The general said Dellarocco's reputation of putting others first, reaching out and building teams, staying focused on the Soldier, always delivering and being the one who "does the heavy lifting" for Soldiers made him a standout from the corps of general officers who are seeking promotions.
"The competition is tough," Dunwoody said. "The bench is very deep. There are not enough slots for those who compete and those who are selected are the best of the best."

She reviewed Dellarocco's career, which began in the quartermaster corps (now logistics) and included early assignments as the commander of a petroleum platoon, and a supply and service company in Germany, an instructor at the Quartermaster School and an executive officer at Anniston Army Depot. After being inducted into the Army Acquisition Corps, he spent a year in training with industry.

He has also held leadership positions with the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the Missile Systems Directorate, Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command and Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support. He has served as the director of the Acquisition Support Center and as a deputy commanding general for the Research Development and Engineering Command. In 2007, he assumed his current command position at the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space.

"He has had an unusual and diverse career," Dunwoody said. "Since day one he has been a non-stop achiever when it comes to supporting our war fighters. He is a heavy lifter who has delivered results. I've seen all the gates he has gone through in this very non-traditional career path. He has an incredible track record and has excelled in every job. He not only excelled, but he made a difference."

Since 2007, Dellarocco has led a team at PEO for Missiles and Space that has fulfilled its mission while also using Lean Six Sigma to pinpoint $187 million in cost avoidance and $11 million in cost savings.

"Geno was born into this profession. He has wanted to be a Soldier since he was 4 years old ... He's been on that journey ever since," Dunwoody said.

"After ROTC in college, he has served for 32 years. Soldiering has always been and is still his passion. I appreciate the great work he has done. But the Army doesn't promote based on past performance. It promotes on demonstrated potential. Maj. Gen. Dellarocco will help us lead this Army."

Dellarocco thanked his wife, daughter Lauren, parents and parents-in-law, and extended family. His wife joined Dunwoody in placing the two-star epaulets on Dellarocco's uniform while his parents placed his shoulder boards on his shirt. His daughter put his new two-star pin on his beret. In an unexpected gesture, Dellarocco then gave his one-star beret to his nephew, Michael Prignon of Pennsylvania, who recently attained Eagle Scout. And the audience enjoyed a lighter moment when Dunwoody presented Dellarocco's wife with a plaque promoting her to the position of honorary (three-star) lieutenant general.

Fulfulling his ceremonial obligation, the new major general then joked with his audience that "getting promoted is a sign of age."

Dellarocco thanked AMCOM commander Myles for his leadership and "for creating the right command climate. You've galvanized the life cycle management command. You've created the right command climate so that our organization felt like part of the family and so this entire community has flourished. I owe a lot of credit to your leadership."

He also thanked the employees of PEO for Missiles and Space who are "good leaders, good followers" and the entire Team Redstone community. PEO for Missiles and Space is now participating in a pilot Army program for business transformation and Dellarocco said his employees "create the climate to make that happen."

Dellarocco comes from a long line of ancestors who have served their country in all branches of the military as well as the American Red Cross, Department of State, Office of the Secretary of State and the FBI. His ancestors have served in every U.S. war since the Spanish-American War and today include a former ambassador to Kenya and Guatemala, two Soldiers, an Air Force sergeant, an FBI special agent, and a former Red Cross volunteer who received the organization's highest award twice.

"What drove me to do this'" Dellarocco asked, contemplating his own service to the nation. "I look back and see several things. My uncles and relatives didn't talk about the Korean War or World War II. But it was those eight uncles who served in World War II and all my family that shaped who I am.

"I give credit to all the people who surrounded me and are a part of my life. This is the kind of family that shaped this guy, this G.I. Geno. It continues on with the next generation. That's how we serve our country, and that's where I came from - a family of service."

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