WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service, July 18, 2013) -- Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal, Ph.D., promoted the new director of the Army's Office of Business Transformation to a three-star general, underscoring the position that he said is "critically important" to the Army.

Westphal promoted Maj. Gen. Thomas W. Spoehr to lieutenant general at a Pentagon ceremony, July 18. Spoehr's wife Cynthia and daughter Catherine affixed the new rank to his uniform.

"That third star signifies truly a strategic level of potential and capability," Westphal told the crowd that included the vice chief of staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell.

"You make executive-level decisions in the institutional Army and you set the course to shape the force of the future -- for decades into the future," said Westphal.

The Office of Business Transformation maintains an important relationship with Congress, the White House, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in "managing through very complex business operations that cost billions and billions of dollars," said Westphal.

He said the ability of the Secretary of the Army to provide trained, ready and well-equipped forces depends on the business processes that drive readiness.

"I can't tell you how much I am humbled by this selection, this promotion and overwhelmed by the responsibility that the Army has placed in me," said Spoehr, who assumed the duty of the director of the Office of Business Transformation one day earlier.

Spoehr thanked family members for their support and presented them with flowers during the ceremony.

He was choked up as he held a bouquet for his son who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and who Spoehr said was watching the promotion ceremony via a live stream. "Thank you for what you're doing," he told his son, an Army officer.

Spoehr's prior assignments include deputy commanding general (support), United States Forces-Iraq; and director of Force Development, Headquarters, Department of the Army, G-8.

Lt. Gen. William T. Grisoli previously led the Office of Business Transformation.