By Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield, Deployment Support CommandApril 15, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- In a promotion ceremony 33 years in the making, Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel promoted Col. Pete Bosse to the rank of brigadier general April 14th, in Birmingham, Ala.
"We are here today promoting a great Soldier who, looking back on decades of service, you can see the tremendous impact he has had on our force," Wendel, First Army Division East commanding general, told the Soldiers and Civilians of the 87th United States Army Reserve Support Command (East) and the 1st Mobilization Support Group in attendance.
The promotion to the general officer ranks marks a landmark and when you cross over, with it brings greater demands and responsibility, Wendel said. He added how great it was to be a part of the day promoting one of the very best in the Army Reserve and across the Army.
"He brings leadership, self-less service, enthusiasm, and tremendous passion," said Wendel. "He has a deep passion for Soldiering and that is what makes good leaders great."
Bosse assumed the dual-hatted role of the 87th commander and the First Army Division East deputy commanding general for support in December 2012. In the months since, Bosse and the Soldiers of the 87th have mobilized two units and simultaneously supported the readiness of the eight brigades, 49 battalions, and the more than 4,800 Soldiers the 87th supports.
After Wendel and Bosse's wife, Helen, pinned on the rank of brigadier general, Bosse acknowledged how thankful and humbled he was with this promotion.
"I stand before you a humbled servant and would've never imagined this day 33 years ago as a private joining the Army," said Bosse.
After thanking the many Soldiers, family and friends in attendance, Bosse recited the Soldier's Creed. He said his service in the military has been about so much more than just the Army values.
"To me it means making the ultimate selfless sacrifice by being part of a team, something larger than self," said Bosse.
He added he had the best trainers and mentors throughout his military career. He said he frequently looks back upon a conversation he had in 1981 with his platoon sergeant at Fort Campbell Ky.
"He was a Vietnam vet and a Purple Heart recipient, and he taught me how to prepare for the unexpected," said Bosse. "I would always ask why we would do certain things, and he told me it's because you never know when the balloon is going up; you never know what situation you may find yourself in."
Even today, 32 years later, he still thinks back to that day and urges his fellow Soldiers to find a mentor who can coach and teach them along the way.
Bosse also mentioned another group of Army mentors -- the NCO corps -- who trained him to focus on the mission but never lose focus of people, he added.
"These NCO's have shaped my leadership style, and taught me to lead with an emphasis on people, training, and teamwork," said Bosse. "The people are the Soldiers standing in our formation and the strength of our Army. Training is what we do every day to prepare to accomplish our assigned missions, and teamwork is that special ingredient that makes the whole bigger and better than the sum of its individual parts.
"When combined with our bedrock Army values, an emphasis on people, training and teamwork form the cement blocks that will continue to build and strengthen our Army into the greatest and most respected organization in America," Bosse concluded.