Chief of Transportation earns his star
March 28, 2012
By Amy Perry
FORT LEE, Va. (March28, 2012) -- Fellow Soldiers, Family members and friends gathered at the Lee Club Friday to celebrate the promotion of Stephen E. Farmen to brigadier general.
During the ceremony, Farmen's his father, retired Maj. Gen. William Farmen, place a set of his own one-star rank insignia on his son's dress shirt. Wife, Debbie, and mother, Honor, attached stars to his service jacket.
Farmen currently serves as the Chief of Transportation and the Transportation School commandant.
Maj. Gen. James L. Hodge, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, administered the oath of office for Farmen and presented him his general officer belt and pistol. Command Sgt. Maj. Allen B. Offord Jr., Transportation Corps regimental command sergeant major, unfurled Farmen's one-star flag during the ceremony.
Hodge said the event was a great day for the Army and the Farmen Family.
"Today, we'll promote a great Soldier, a great patriot and a great leader," Hodge said before Farmen pinned on his new rank. "One of the things that makes today special is that we don't get an opportunity to see a transition from colonel to brigadier general very often. The brigadier general nomination announcement that had Steve's name on it had only 34 names listed. Of those 34, only three had a logistics background, and Steve was one of those three. It's pretty special."
Farmen is a commensurate leader who consistently demonstrates his ability to lead and his commitment to America's sons and daughters, which led to his selection, said Hodge.
"It's imperative that those leaders who are selected then be leaders of vision -- officers who can help lead the Army as we transition into 21st century battlefield," said Hodge. "I can tell you that in choosing Steve, the Army has selected the leader they want. They hit the mark, and he is truly among the best of the best.
"As a general, Steve will now be an ambassador for the Army," said Hodge. "And as a general, his impact upon the Soldiers he leads really cannot be overstated. His words -- and more importantly, every deed -- will take on greater significance."
Hodge urged Farmen to keep charging ahead as usual.
"Steve, as you don the star today, may you never lose touch with who you are," he said. "We know you'll continue to serve our nation and CASCOM with the same energy and drive that elevated you to this point. You have clearly demonstrated the talent and abilities for increased responsibility and we're going to give you all you can handle. Congratulations."
Farmen said he felt like the promotion offered him an amazing experience.
"Wow! As you can imagine, this is all incredibly humbling and exciting all at the same time," he said during the ceremony. "As I scan the crowd today, I am truly honored by your attendance. My profound thanks to all of you for making the effort to be here and taking part in today's ceremony. This promotion is really more about you and your impact than (it is about) me."
During the ceremony, Farmen reflected on his early days in the military as a second lieutenant. He recalled standing in the courtyard of the old Combined Arms Support and Logistics Center -- now the Defense Contract Management Agency -- here on Fort Lee 25 years ago watching his father pin brigadier general rank on his shoulders.
"It was special for me to pin my rank on here too; it struck me as interesting that we both were promoted to brigadier general on basically the same spot," said Farmen. "Having my father pin his own stars on me was overwhelming. There was a real rush of emotion for my dad to put on his own weathered rank on my uniform."
Farmen said his new rank makes him feel responsible for making a difference.
"I'm overwhelmed, and I will work so hard every day to try to make our country proud and take care of our Soldiers," he said. "Trust me when I say I humbly accept responsibility to continue serving and I will strive every day to make a positive difference and to make you proud."