PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s deputy commander for operations was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony at the command’s Peterson Air Force Base headquarters, May 4.In an effort to decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and to ensure force health protection, Brig. Gen. David F. Stewart, now USASMDC’s deputy commanding general for operations, received his first star during a ceremony attended by only immediate family members but streamed live via Facebook.“To my immediate family, to my extended family and my ever growing Army family, I value and appreciate each one of you,” Stewart said. “I’m very grateful, very thankful, very humble.“My time in the Army is fleeing. I certainly have more years behind me than ahead. I’ve worked hard to try to understand why I serve and how I define success and never to look too far behind or too far forward and to really be loyal to the here and now,” Stewart said. “And so during these uncertain times, it’s important and I think good reminders to understand life’s priorities, to count your blessings, to be a good Solider and to serve others. And I think that resounds in our world today.”Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, deputy commander, U.S. Space Command, and officiating officer for the ceremony, said Stewart’s promotion to general is a very important day for the Army and the Stewart family.“The Army has made a great choice,” said Dickinson. “Far less than 1 percent of the United States Army is ever selected for the rank of general. That in itself speaks volumes for your accomplishments and more importantly for your potential in the United States Army to go beyond one star.”Dickinson said Stewart is a very diverse and broadened officer in terms of experiences who will bring a tremendous amount of talent and experience to this position. His leadership now and in the future will make the Army better.“We’re so excited to have you as part of the general officer corps and the team,” Dickinson said.Before becoming a general officer himself, Dickinson said he was told making general means leading change.“Change is what this Army is about. We’re seeing it right now as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dickinson said. “The Army, and the military in itself, has changed and adapted over the last two and a half, three months to get to a point where we are today. Which is the opportunity and ability to operate in this environment and to be able to recognize a great Soldier along with a great family. So we are very proud of you, Dave.”Following Dickinson’s remarks, Stewart’s wife and two daughters pinned on his new rank. Stewart then took the oath of office administered by Dickinson followed by the uncasing and unfurling of the one-star flag.Stewart, a Vienna, Virginia, native, then addressed his family and the virtual audience.“Sir, thank you for your kind remarks and to everybody who signed in virtually,” Stewart said.“To Lt. Gen. Dickinson and Lt. Gen. Karbler, the former and current commanding generals of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, thank you for your leadership and advocacy of Army space and Army air and missile defense,” said Stewart. “You’re both remarkable leaders, and I’m just so honored to have the opportunity to serve with you.”Stewart then turned his attention to his wife.“If you think it is tough being a Soldier, try loving one,” he said. “Annie, you are my heart’s delight, you are my best friend, and you are a remarkable and wonderful mother to our two children. I love you, and I thank you immensely.“You are also a woman of action. You don’t know procrastination. And lastly, whether a private or a general, you treat everybody the same, and that is with dignity and respect,” Stewart continued. “So thank you for that. Thank you for the person you are. I love you, and I absolutely appreciate you. And I certainly wouldn’t be here without you.”Stewart also thanked every teacher, coach, friend, many civilians, Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, officers and warrant officers who invested in him over the years.“I’m really just excited to continue to serve Soldiers and families, to go on and work hard, to think and act strategically, and really just get the mission accomplished. So I’m excited for that opportunity and those opportunities to come to share that with my family,” Stewart said. “With that I’ll just say Army Strong, winning matters, first to fire, and secure the high ground.”