SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Formations of Soldiers, friends, guests, and family gathered at Sills Field, here, May 25, to offer their thanks and pleasant farewells to a key officer for "Tropic Lightning."

The "Flying V" ceremony, a ceremony to display respect and gratitude for departing key military officers, was an opportunity to bid farewell to the Brig. Gen. James C. Nixon, deputy commanding general - operations, 25th Infantry Division, and his family as they depart for their new assignment.

The host commander for the event, Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, commanding general, 25th Inf. Div., spoke highly of Nixon's military career and selfless service to the division.

"I have relied on his insight and thoughtful advice; always honest, always reflective of his deep character values and sense of right and always selflessly focused on the mission and Soldiers and never, ever even a hint of self," said Champoux.

According to Champoux, Nixon's service was exemplified by his willingness to take on any challenge and determination to improve the operations of the division.

"When Craig came to Hawaii he was faced with the daunting task of preparing the 25th Infantry Division for another combat deployment to Iraq," said Champoux. "He immediately re-energized the training support facilities for the processes of the division to focus on our ability to train in urban operations.... He never missed an opportunity to mentor a battalion or brigade commander on war-fighting on both tactical and operational levels."

Nixon, in his role as deputy commanding general for operations, helped oversee operations of four maneuver brigades in three provinces, provide planning and execution of multiple anti-extremist brigade-level operations, and strengthen diplomacy between Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga Forces through mediation.

"Over the last few years we have become equal parts warrior, diplomat, city engineer, and tribal liaisons while working by, with, and through the Iraqi Army and police to improve the security, economics and governance in Iraq," said Nixon, of the role modern Soldiers serve while deployed.

Nixon recognized the evolving role of Soldiers to improve and promote peace within the cities, villages and homes of the oppressed.

In addition to diplomacy, Nixon helped to develop and execute kinetic operations such as Operations Wolf Pursuit I and II, Ninewa Resolve (New Hope) and Glad Tidings of Benevolence, which were considered to be critical to disrupting insurgent activities and bringing safety to back to neighborhoods of the provinces.

While serving on the island of Oahu, Nixon helped Tropic Lightning leaders reach out and strengthen the division's bonds with the communities of Hawaii. For Nixon, the environment of Hawaii made his time on the island of Oahu rank among the best of his military career thanks in large part to the division's neighboring communities.

"There are countless great Americans that have welcomed us into their 'Ohana' and supported our families while we were deployed," Nixon said. "People of Wahiawa, Waianae, and on the North Shore go out of their way to welcome us into their businesses, schools, churches, and homes, while continuing to support of Soldiers and families.... Thank you all for your support to this division."

"Over a 28-year career, I have never served in a place that replicates the environment of Hawaii," Nixon continued. "But while it is truly paradise on Earth, the real thing that makes it so different is the 'Ohana' and the spirit of aloha."

Nixon will move on to his new assignment as a force protection officer for U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.

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