By Sgt. 1st Class Crista M. Mack, 311th Signal CommandJune 4, 2013
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- United States Army, Pacific Commanding General Lt. Gen. Francis "Frank" J. Wiercinski was officially honored at a retirement and Flying V ceremony June 4 on historic Palm Circle.
The Flying V formation was represented by USARPAC's subordinate commands and theater-enabling commands. The Flying V ceremony traditionally welcomes or honors senior Army officials when they assume duties or depart from an Army command. Its name refers to the V shape in which the colors are posted during the ceremony.
"We have been blessed to serve here in Hawaii on multiple occasions and truly blessed to serve not only Hawaii but also the Asia Pacific region for the last eight consecutive years," said Wiercinski. "We've built relationships here, relationships that will last a lifetime, and we have memories of cultures, people, countries and landscape that would fill a library."
Wiercinski's 34 years of service to the Army included eight years of commanding in the Pacific. Prior to commanding USARPAC, he served as the Commanding General U.S. Army -- Japan and I Corps (Forward) and as Deputy Commanding General USARPAC.
Originally a native of Dickson City, Pennsylvania, Wiercinski graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and commissioned in 1979. He earned distinction as one of the first Combat Brigade Commanders to enter Afghanistan following September 11, 2001, while commanding the 187th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division "Rakkasans", and as Deputy Commanding General of the Multi-National Division-North during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 25th Infantry Division.
"From lieutenant to lieutenant general, he had led," said Gen. (ret) David Bramlett, officiating officer. "His dedication and compassion has inspired his contemporaries, everyone he has led or served with. He has left every unit better, he has strengthened the Army, he leaves a legacy of leadership by example and missions accomplished which may be matched, but likely not to be surpassed."
Wiercinski was presented with the Distinguished Service Medal, Retirement Service Award, Military Order of Foreign Wars Hawaii Commendary, National Infantry Association Order of St. Maurice Abridged Award, Certificate of Appreciation from U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, a letter of appreciation from the governor of Pennsylvania, joint proclamation letter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a retirement pin and a U.S. flag flown on Palm Circle on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013. Jeannine was presented the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for her outstanding volunteer service to the United States Army, Pacific.
"The song goes the 'Army goes rolling along,'" said Bramlett. "Yes it will, and Frank and Jeannine have made sure, by leaving behind large parts of two generations of Soldiers and families they have influenced and inspired, influenced them to lead by example and look to serve, and inspired them to give much more than they receive. "
Wiercinski thanked all, particularly his wife Jeannine Wiercinski, for the past 34 years.
"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve, it's been a dream come true. I will remember every day of that service all the days of my life, and treasure each of you and those that have had so much of an impact, all the family and friends that have been there along the way, especially those who gave their blood sweat and tears so that I could be here today," said Wiercinski. "Jeannine and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives. We have a lot more to do, hopefully continuing in the service of others."