By W. Wayne MarlowJune 28, 2017
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. --First Army Soldiers and civilians were on hand Tuesday to help celebrate Maj. Gen. Chris Gentry's promotion from brigadier general. Gentry serves as First Army's deputy commanding general for support and is also commanding general of the First Army United States Army Reserve Support Command.
Officiating the ceremony was First Army Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty.
"There are only a few joys of being a general officer and one of them is being able to stand up here and promote great people," he said. "The Army is in the business of people, and part of that is taking care of people. You take care of them by promoting them, awarding them, and reenlisting them. Chris, it's great to promote you today."
Twitty reflected on the importance of having the right person in the deputy commander's slot. "It is hard to make general, then when you make one star, it is hard to move to the next rank," he said. "The Army got it right on this one, without a doubt. Most of the time I'm gone, I'm away from the headquarters. I am able to go off and do the things I'm supposed to as a leader because of the great deputy that I have in Chris Gentry. He's always going to have his hands on the pulse and he's going to do what's right. I have the trust and confidence that he will make it happen."
Twitty then addressed the criteria the Army looks for when selecting its senior leaders: "The reason they make general officer is they are able to see the big picture, they're able to handle multiple balls, they're able to interact well with people. They're able to get stuff done, and they're able to understand it's not about I, it's about the team, and Chris has all that."
In his remarks, Gentry recounted his early days a second lieutenant when he continued a family tradition of military service, "All those years ago, never in my fondest dreams did I think I would be standing here receiving this honor. It does instill a lot of humility but it also reinforces the honor of serving," he said.
He also emphasized the importance of being part of a team.
"If there's one thing I could tell you for those of you on your way up and aspiring to bigger and greater things, it's not how far you climb, it's how many you encourage to climb with you."