By Gordon Van VleetJune 7, 2013
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - The newest general officer on Fort Huachuca received his first star during a ceremony Monday at the Network Enterprise Technology Command headquarters building here.
Brig. Gen. Peter "Pete" Gallagher, NETCOM deputy commanding general, was promoted in front of his Family, friends and co-workers during a joyous and sometimes emotional pinning ceremony.
Adding to the throng of guests were two life-sized, cardboard cutouts of his sons who could not make the event. Matt Gallagher, a Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet is currently training at the Army Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Ky. Sgt. Jake Gallagher is attending the Noncommissioned Officers Academy Warrior Leader Course at Fort Bragg, N.C. The cutouts were placed behind the podium overlooking the proceedings.
The guest speaker at the promotion ceremony was a long-time friend and mentor of Gallagher, Maj. Gen. Austin Miller, special assistant to the deputy commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Command.
Miller, along with Gallagher's wife of 29 years, Donna, participated in giving the Soldier his new rank by placing the one-star shoulder boards on the jacket of NETCOM's newest brigadier general. Next, Gallagher's brother, retired Lt. Col. Mike Gallagher, presented him with a beret bearing Gallagher's new rank.
The ceremony was marked with many references to the history and traditions of promotion to the general officer ranks as several significant items were presented to the newest general officer in the Army.
Preceding the pinning of the stars, the narrator for the event said that the general's stars are the oldest rank insignia still in use by our armed forces.
After the pinning, Gallagher was presented with the general officer belt and following that presentation, he was presented with the general officer pistol, a M9, 9 mm, which is known for its finer finish and a serial number beginning with the letters, GO (for general officer).
Following the presentations of the general officer accouterments, a one-star general officer flag was unfurled and posted in Gallagher's honor.
Following the posting of the flag, Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, NETCOM commanding general, conducted the oath of office allowing Gallagher to reaffirm his oath.
The final item to be presented to Gallagher was a cannon round casing as a symbol of the honors rendered to him at the beginning of the ceremony.
Speaking about his time working with Gallagher, Lynn said he is a great leader and American hero, adding that he doesn't use those kinds of words lightly.
"Being promoted to brigadier general is a rare thing, and it is a real blessing and an honor to be a part of this process," said Lynn. "Thousands upon thousands of people enter our military each year and only less than one percent makes it to the rank of general officer, so it is a huge step forward for Pete Gallagher."
Gallagher said he was humbled and honored to be the Army's newest brigadier general. During his remarks he thanked his Family, many of whom were in the audience. His deepest appreciation went to his wife and children for their support and understanding during his 27 years of service to the Army and the nation.