By Ms. Lisa Simunaci (AMC)April 10, 2015
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- After the pomp and circumstance fitting of a three-star promotion ceremony -- complete with ruffles and flourishes, the reverberation of ceremonial artillery fire, and the unfurling of the scarlet-red three-star flag -- a newly promoted Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche stood for a moment to take it all in.
"Wow," Wyche said, taking a collective breath after his wife, Denise, and the Army Materiel Command's top leader Gen. Dennis L. Via replaced his two-star shoulder boards with three- star rank in a ceremony here April 10. "What a humbling experience."
The Emporia, Virginia native, who will take on the roles of AMC's deputy commanding general and Redstone Arsenal's senior commander, is no stranger to the organization or the installation.
He served here from 2010 to 2012 as the deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations. During that time, the command was supporting two wars and transitioning its headquarters from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Redstone Arsenal.
"General Wyche was at the center of it all in operations and logistics," Via said. "That's one of the many reasons I'm glad to have him back at AMC."
Wyche thanked his family, friends, and the many mentors who have supported him during his career, specifically his uncle who served in Vietnam and inspired him to become a Soldier as he uttered these words between combat tours: "If you ever want to get a start in life, join the Army."
"And I did." Wyche told the crowd gathered for his promotion. "So 38 years later I stand before you as a lieutenant general -- and one of the first individuals I want to thank is my uncle."
Wyche said he called that same uncle last week to let him know he was "thinking" about making the Army a career. His uncle replied, "It's a great place to start."
The newly promoted Wyche kept the audience laughing with colorful stories of Army generals, current and retired, who mentored him along the way. He recalled his days as an ROTC cadet at Texas A&M University -- Corpus Christi, and his hopes of one day making the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Before his commission, Wyche was an enlisted cavalry scout, achieving the rank of sergeant.
Those sergeant stripes are tucked under the collar of Wyche's uniform, Via noted before performing the promotion.
"He reaches up and pats that rank every now and them to remind himself exactly who this is all about," Via said. "That's our Soldiers."
In a mantra he has repeated as he's risen through the ranks, Wyche talked about his role as a "warfighter logistician."
"We are prepared to give the shirts off our backs and boots off our feet. We will never say 'no' as long as there is one gallon of gas to give or one bullet to give."
Wyche thanked his wife and three grown children for their longstanding support of his career.
"You were always there for me, when I was deployed or taking care of the Army's and the nation's business," he said, and specifically thanked his wife for enduring more than 24 moves.
He also thanked Via, saying there was no one else in the world he would rather have presiding over his promotion ceremony.
"Thank you for the guidance, the mentorship, and for just being a model Soldier," Wyche told the commanding general. "Your vision and intent is clear. We're about global readiness. I promise I'll give it my all -- to you and this organization."