Army general's promotion reflects strength of family, character
January 19, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Maj. Gen. Mark Yenter, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, was promoted to the rank of major general during a ceremony held here, Jan. 18.
Maj. Gen. Merdith Temple, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, acting chief of engineers and acting commander, presided over the ceremony.
In addition to his wife, Lisa, and their two children, several members of the Yenter family attended the event to include his father, Ken, a retired lieutenant colonel himself.
"This is a wonderful day for our Army and indeed our Nation, Mark, and I am so proud, humbled and pleased that you have given me this opportunity to participate in this celebration of your well-deserved promotion to major general," Temple said. "Anybody that's known you for any length of time knew that this day was going to come sooner or later, and here it is. Probably sooner than you may have thought because time seems to accelerate the more experienced we get."
Temple said in order to be a good officer it's not just ultimately about doing the right things, because you must always do the right thing, but you have to do it the right way.
"Mark's very good at making sure that people don't deviate too far moving things forward both in the proper fashion and for the right reason, which is extremely important. That all goes back to that great moral foundation that was given to him by his family," Temple said.
Temple then talked about the selection process to becoming a general officer and the importance of character.
"Any service picks the right person to be a general officer, and character, I can guarantee you, is the number one consideration, as it should be. I suspect that Mark's selection board didn't have any trouble figuring out the character piece because that's the absolute No. 1, top strength that he has. So congratulations to you there, Mark, we're very proud of you, Lisa, your entire family and I know everyone in this room is like me, just busting with pride for what you have been able to accomplish in your wonderful career. Just to be associated with you has really been a privilege and we appreciate it," Temple said.
Yenter began his remarks with a word of gratitude to Temple, members of the MSCoE staff, distinguished guests and community leaders and members, and his Army Family for sharing in this wonderful occasion.
He also took a moment to recognize Temple, whom he's known for 20 years as a boss, mentor and role model.
Speaking about Temple, Yenter said, "He's an amazing officer. He is quite simply a gentleman. He's the most positive individual I've ever met, he's the most patient man I think I've ever met, and a fantastic role model."
"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the work of a lot of great Soldiers who I've served with in the last 31 years. Soldiers volunteer their life, spend way too much time away from their family, it isn't easy, but they have inspired me in peace time and in war time through their personal courage, integrity and selfless service. It is amazing to see their work ethic and strong sense of teamwork. Soldiers have compassion and a discipline that few others have," Yenter said.
Yenter said he has been fortunate to have served under the command of brilliant officers and senior NCO's.
"What I learned from them is you can take an organization to the next level," Yenter said. "Great leaders make organizations get to that next level and the organization is better for doing it."
Yenter also expressed his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve our country.
"I love being a Soldier, and when you get to 31 years you realize things are going pretty fast. I'm grateful to be given the opportunity to continue to serve," Yenter said.
Yenter shared a moment with his wife, Lisa, during his promotion ceremony.
"I just cannot imagine a reality or that I would have made this journey without my wife, Lisa. She has been so great for our family and she gives so much to Army Families," Yenter said.
Yenter concluded by promising to do the same thing that he expects of others, and that is simply to do his best.