FORT LEE, Va. (June 20, 2013) -- Brig. Gen. John E. "Skip" O'Neil IV celebrated earning his first star during a ceremony Friday at the Regimental Club.

Hundreds of Soldiers, friends and family joined the Quartermaster General for the event, and Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, commanding general, CASCOM and Fort Lee, Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command and Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., and O'Neil's family helped him adorn the general officer paraphernalia.

Wharton has served with O'Neil before and said he was pleased to help with his promotion.

"It's truly an honor to be part of your ceremony, and it's a privilege to be able to promote you today," said Wharton. "The Army promotes based on potential and future service, not just because of previous accomplishments. Skip holds the skill sets necessary to get us to the next level. He has all the traits we're looking for in a general officer and he always turns in a superb performance and accomplishes his mission."

Promotion rates are lower than they have ever been, said Wharton, and O'Neil's promotion shows he has demonstrated the potential for increased responsibility.

"Promotion to general officer is a significant step in an officer's career," he said. "It's a clear sign that those selected are our nation's best. With this promotion, the Army is acknowledging (O'Neil's) outstanding accomplishments and service, while also recognizing potential for future service to our nation and to our Army."

After being presented with his star insignia and general officer belt, side arm and flag, O'Neil thanked his fellow Soldiers, family and friends for attending the event.

"It is with both a humbled heart and a determined spirit that I stand before you today as a Soldier in your United States Army," he said. "I'm humbled by outpouring of support by fellow Soldiers, past and present; humbled and so appreciative of the attendance of family and friends, many traveling great distances at considerable expense of time and treasure, to share the moment with the O'Neil family. It means a great deal to Michele and I and the boys."

This promotion is more than just an increase in rank for him, said O'Neil.

"This promotion is much less about being in charge of anything and much more about the honor and privilege of continued service in the uniform," he said. "It's about the sacred bond of trust that exists between the American public and Army leaders, sharing the welfare, training and preparedness of their sons and daughters who answer the nation's call.

"I pledge my continued loyalty and commitment to the Army profession, its mission and its values," he concluded.