Chief of Ordnance earns first star
October 20, 2011
FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 20, 2011) - It's been more than a year, and the wait is finally over.
Col. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., the Chief of Ordnance and the commandant of the Ordnance School, received the rank of brigadier general during a promotion ceremony Tuesday at Ball Auditorium on the Ordnance Campus.
About 200 members of the Fort Lee community and beyond attended the event to include LeMaster's wife, Col. Mary (Crickett) LeMasters, their extended family and Lt. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, former CASCOM commanding general and currently the deputy chief of staff for logistics, Department of the Army.
LeMasters, who was nominated for promotion Aug. 27, 2010, said during his remarks there were so many people who helped him along the road of achievement that he couldn't name most of them. He nevertheless thanked them in broad expression.
"Let there be no mistake, I'm standing here today receiving this great honor and humbled beyond belief because you and many others - who couldn't physically be here in attendance - took time to try to teach and train me," he said.
Prior to his remarks, LeMaster's wife and Stevenson, the guest speaker and his former boss, ceremoniously pinned the star-stitched shoulder boards onto the epaulets of his jacket. His wife seemed to have a bit of trouble getting the one board on, but once she accomplished her task, the general broke his bearing and gave her an enthusiastic kiss. She seemed flushed with surprise, and the crowd laughed in amusement.
During his remarks, Stevenson talked about the difficulty in making the rank of general, noting how promotion boards weed out a very talented crop of Soldiers in favor of the exceptional, creative thinkers, "... who can direct policy and strategies, build consensus, grow the next generation of leaders and energize subordinates.
"I think that's where Clark shines," Stevenson said.
He went on to note that he has plans for retirement and feels comfortable leaving the reigns of leadership to those like LeMasters.
"I can't tell you how meaningful it is for me to know that in my place there will be terrific generals like Clark who have the potential to help the Army and lead it into some very, very tough times," he said.
LeMasters dedicated his promotion ceremony to the memory of his father, retired Maj. Clark W. LeMasters Sr., who died two years ago.
"I know he's here in spirit," said an emotional LeMasters during his remarks.
LeMasters came to the Ordnance School from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics where he served as the executive officer to the commanding general. He served with the Army Sustainment Command prior to that assignment.
LeMasters has also served with the 1st Armored Division and 3rd Infantry Division and has had a previous assignment at Fort Lee with CASCOM's Force Development Directorate.
LeMasters' promotion to brigadier general was the second for the post within the same calendar year. Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, commanding general, Quartermaster School, was promoted in April.