FORT HOOD, Texas - Family and friends from near and afar witnessed Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, add his second star during a promotion ceremony on Cooper Field here June 27.

"It is certainly an honor to be standing here before you," Bills said.

Bills was commissioned as a second lieutenant armor officer upon graduating from George Mason University in 1983.

Bills attributed his advancement in rank to the men and women he's served with throughout the years.

"It's the Soldier's, noncommissioned officers and the leaders that have made me who I am, in terms of who I am today," Bills said. "It's a great honor to them for achieving this rank as a two star."

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, presided over the promotion and shard a brief insight on just how far Bills has advanced in the Army.

Milley said there were 7,923 lieutenants commissioned the same year as Bills.

"Twenty-seven of them made general officer and very few have pinned on the rank of major general," Milley said. "You're an incredible officer.

You've demonstrated competence, character, courage and compassion throughout your entire career."

Bills' Family, to include his parents, took part in the ceremony. His mother removed the previous ranks from Bills' chest and his wife put on the new rank. His father and two sons each added the two star rank to his Cavalry Stetson, beret and patrol cap.

"We're delighted," said Don Bills, Bills' father. "He's always remained our little boy who we were proud of when he grew up - now he can do it all."

Bills joined the "First Team" in March and has since led part of the division to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.