FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -It was still dark when United States Army, Pacific Soldiers recognized fallen comrades at Fort Hood, Texas with a moment of silence before the "One Team Warrior Run" during the early morning hours of Nov. 10.
As the Hawaii sun began to shine on historic Palm Circle, Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, United States Army, Pacific, began the quarterly four-mile esprit de corps run around Fort Shafter.
After the run, Mixon spoke to Soldiers on topics such as post traumatic stress disorder, H1N1 and several other top top-of-minds subjects involving Soldiers and their Families, including Veterans Day safety.
"As you gather around the barbecue grills, go down to the beach, or spend time with your family, reflect what it means to be a veteran," he said. "Part of that duty includes having the highest standard of conduct off duty. Always set the example that will do you, your unit and your country proud."
He added that USARPAC has too many Soldiers receiving traffic tickets, drinking and driving and making poor decisions while off post.
"Try this a couple of times," he said. "Go to a party and just drink a soda, eat a hamburger, talk to your friends and stay sober. I'd be willing to bet you have an even better time."
Mixon also said that he is concerned about Soldiers taking action against those with a different religious belief based on what happened at Fort Hood Nov. 5.
"That is not what we do in the military," he said. "It's our duty to treat all of our fellow Soldiers with dignity and respect, no matter what color they are, what religion they are or where they come from. These actions go against our morale and esprit de corps and undermine our combat readiness."
Mixon ended his speech by discussing upcoming events affecting USARPAC and its units, including several upcoming exercises around the Pacific.
"Moving down the road, we're going to get the Contingency Command Post stood up," he said. "That leads us into Yama Sakura in Japan next month. This is a very important exercise with the Ground Self Defense Force with the Northern Army and then we'll very rapidly transition into Cobra Gold in Thailand."
At the end, he fielded questions from Soldiers about parking, furlough Friday and the H1N1 virus.
"You are all doing great things here in United States Army, Pacific," Mixon said. "I'm proud of each and every one of you. One Team."