A promotion ceremony was held April 13 in honor of then-Colonel Peter B. Andrysiak, Jr., commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division on Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, marking his transition to brigadier general.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commander, USACE and 54th Chief of Engineers, presided over the ceremony.

Andrysiak's wife, Casey, and children joined Semonite in pinning the one-star insignia on his uniform amidst applause from family, friends, and colleagues. Besides his two children and wife, Andrysiak's father, retired Maj. Peter Andrysiak, and sister, Deborah, were among the honored guests at the special event.

Semonite acknowledged the significance of the promotion to brigadier general and what it represents to the Army.

"In 2016, more than 1,600 colonels were considered for promotion to brigadier general and approximately 2 percent--who are the best of the best--were selected…including Pete, who was among the best and brightest," said Semonite." "Pete is committed to excellence in everything he does and inspire others to also seek excellence in everything they do--People would follow him anywhere…and they do!"

The Chief of Engineers went on to highlight several of Andrysiak's achievements over the years marked by a clear pattern of excellence. He described Andrysiak as a: tactical leader, combat warfighter, professional engineer, family man, and a patriot--characteristics representing each point on the star that he now wears.

Andrysiak was quick to attribute his success to the many extraordinary Soldiers, civilians, officers and NCOs who shaped him as a leader and Soldier over the years.

He considers his parents, who immigrated to the United States seeking the American dream, to be among his greatest role models.

"My parents taught me the enduring lesson that nothing in life is free, and hard work and discipline were always on the path to success," said Andrysiak. "They would push me outside of my comfort zone and encouraged me to aim toward something I or others did not think was possible."

Andrysiak concluded his remarks by acknowledging that his ability to realize his potential is made possible by his wife and children.

"Without them I would not be ready, and, in fact, I would be mediocre, said Andrysiak."

In honor of Military children, he said, "There is no doubt in my mind that the proper care of our military children sustains our fighting force, and strengthens the health, security, and safety of our nation's families and communities."

Andrysiak then turned to his wife and said, "Thanks so much for the miracles you perform every day. I am eternally grateful and hope in some way I may be able to make part of this up to you."

The USACE newest brigadier general took command of POD, the Army Corps' division serving the Asia-Pacific region, July 12. The division employs about 1,600 military, Department of Army, host-nation civilian engineers, technicians and other professionals in the annual execution of a $3.2 billion program.

The mission includes engineering design, construction and real estate management for the Army in Hawaii, the Army and Air Force in Alaska, and for all Department of Defense agencies in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.