By Capt. Christinea Wagner
Army Futures Command
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley promoted Lt. Gen. John M. Murray to the rank of general during a ceremony held at the newly appointed headquarters location for Army Futures Command in downtown Austin, Texas Aug. 24.
Family, friends, and military and civilian colleagues alike were in attendance to honor this momentous milestone in Murray's career. Murray's wife, Jane, and his daughter, Jana, along with her two children joined Milley in pinning the four-star rank onto his uniform.
Milley stated that there are many factors that contribute to Murray's promotion and that the most important one is family.
"Without the entire family's love and sacrifice, it couldn't have happened," said Milley.
Murray expressed his gratitude to his wife and daughters for supporting him throughout his career. He also thanked his parents via a phone camera for providing him with a great foundation.
"Everything I am today, I owe to them," said Murray.
With this promotion, Murray was selected as the first commanding general to lead Army Futures Command, which aims to modernize processes used to equip soldiers and to integrate innovative technology to increase the Army's capabilities.
"His experience provides the perfect combination of skills needed to lead Army Futures Command and to wear the rank of a four-star general," said Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper.
Murray commissioned into the Army as an infantry officer from the Ohio State University in 1982. He served in various leadership positions throughout his career to include commanding Joint Task Force-3 in Afghanistan as well as 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division during Operation Iraqi freedom. Other notable assignments include director of Force Management at the Pentagon and deputy director for Joint Training, J-7 of the Joint Staff.
Milley explained the statistical rarity of a Solider commissioning into the Army - only .0016 percent make it to the rank of four-star general.
"It is a greater probability for Mike Murray to get his own line of Nike shoes as an NBA all-star and match LeBron James than it is to be a four-star general in the United States Army," said Milley.
Prior to taking command, Murray showed he fit the bill for commander of Futures Command by contributing to Army modernization efforts while serving as the deputy chief of staff for Army G-8. He formally presented the argument for the military to gain overmatch by modernizing the force during congressional hearings.
Futures Command's goal is to enable the Army's modernization strategy to gain the advantage over adversaries by making soldiers more capable in deployed environments and more likely to survive.
It is clear that force modernization is Murray's passion with regards to the Army as he expressed gratitude to senior leaders for the activation of Futures Command stating.
"I personally and professionally appreciate the effort I know that went into not only getting me confirmed but getting Army Futures Command across the finish line," said Murray.
After an extensive selection process of cities in the U.S., the Army announced that Austin was chosen as the Futures Command headquarters due to the cutting-edge research and technology and entrepreneurial spirit that can be found here.
"We've got to partner with the best American innovation, academia and industry to keep America safe to be the world's most dominate land-force. We can't do it by ourselves, we've got to have the help of all these partners and what a great place to do that here in Texas," said Futures Command Communication Director Col. Patrick Seiber.