General Pins on Fourth Star, Prepares for Korea Job
June 3, 2008
By Jim Garamone
SEOUL, South Korea (AFPS, June 2, 2008) - The Army gained another four-star general Monday, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen presided over the promotion of Walter L. "Skip" Sharp.
Sharp, who has served as the director of the Joint Staff, was scheduled to take over Tuesday as commander of U.S. Forces Korea, the Combined Forces Command and as United Nations Command chief. He will replace Army Gen. B.B. Bell.
The small ceremony was held at Dragon Hill Lodge in Yongsan. Family and close friends attended to wish Sharp and his wife, Joanne, well.
Mullen called Sharp an exceptional person who has spent decades of his life in service.
"I've had the great, good fortune of serving with Skip directly since 2001," Mullen said. "He's served three chairmen, and I can speak for all of them in saying that we all feel what an exceptional individual he is."
Sharp is familiar with Korea, having served as a troop commander and on the command staff here. "I just can't think of anyone who is better prepared to do this," Mullen said.
Sharp thanked Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the chairman for the trust and confidence that they have in him for the job. "It is thrilling, and we are very excited to be back in Korea and back with troops again," he said.
Sharp said he has been fortunate to have jobs that "really allow me to help those most important in my mind: those troopers that are in harm's way today around the world and who will be in the future."
The general said his new job is all about "helping those troopers and their families."
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve for a couple more years and to be able to do that," he said.
(Jim Garamone writes for the American Forces Press Service.)