For Brig. Gen. Thomas Drew, U.S. Army Human Resources Command commanding general, today marked another milestone in an illustrious career as he was promoted to major general.
Drew served in the Army as an enlisted Soldier and warrant officer before commissioning as an aviation officer in 1989.
As a helicopter pilot, Drew was among the first to see combat in Desert Storm when his Apache squadron knocked out several radar sites giving the allies air superiority on Jan. 17, 1991.
A longtime friend of Drew’s and the U.S. Army Installation Management Command commanding general, Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, presided over the promotion ceremony, sharing several stories of he and Drew’s Army service and friendship, including their time in Desert Storm.
“You realize you got here not because of what you did, but it’s the support of your family,” Gabram said. “‘The strength of our nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our families,’” Gabram said in quoting the 38th Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno. “That is what defines the Drew family.”
According to Gabram, there are very few general officers and senior enlisted Soldiers who have the time, the tours and impact that Drew has had. The HRC team is very fortunate to have Drew as its leader.
“Tom Drew is the definition of character,” Gabram said. “That quality is what makes him great. He is no ordinary officer. We are promoting an American hero today.”
Gabram said the desire was to promote Drew a month ago, but he really didn’t want to because that’s how humble he is.
“Being promoted isn’t a big thing for me; my job didn’t change; my mission from the chief didn’t change – it’s just my rank,” Drew said. “The reason this is important is it gives me an opportunity to thank those who put me here. I didn’t get here by myself.”
Drew said he had many people help him along the way – from general officers to senior noncommissioned officers.
“I’ve learned from some great command sergeants major how in an ambiguous situation to pick a direction, go all in, and be decisive,” Drew said.
According to Drew, as a young officer and Soldier, it’s important to emulate great leaders, in doing so you will do very well.
“You have to know your profession. We have a standard of professional excellence,” Drew said. “Practice hard and do your best to get better at that thing – whatever it is.”
Drew said he joined the Army because of the example of his dad and uncle.
In closing, Drew gave a heartfelt thank you through tears to his wife, Kay, daughter Kaley, and granddaughter, Kat, “Thank you, and I love you.”