By Staff Sgt. Tim Meyer, 25th Inf. Div. Public AffairsJanuary 22, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- In the Ninewa province of northern Iraq, as tension grew between Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the mostly-Arab Iraqi Army over the security of the Mosul Dam in mid-2009, an American general successfully brought both sides together to craft an agreeable joint security structure and avoid armed conflict.
Whether bringing ethnic groups to the bargaining table in Iraq, or Soldiers and community members to the beaches on Oahu where he liked to surf, Brig. Gen. Robert B. Brown is known for building lasting relationships.
Brown, the 25th Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General (Support), and his wife, Patti, were recognized for their dedication and service during a "Flying V" ceremony at Sills Field, Dec. 15.
"Assembled here before you are the various storied colors of this Division, and they are here today to honor and to recognize Brig. Gen. Robert B. Brown, and his family, and everything they've done for the Soldiers of the Tropic Lightning Division," Maj. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., commanding general, 25th Inf. Div.
Brown has served the U.S. Army for many years in various roles and duties, including the executive assistant to the commander, United States Pacific Command.
When the Division deployed to Iraq as the headquarters for Task Force Lightning, Brown headed a separate command post in Mosul, the Ninewa provincial capital.
"As the commander of Task Force Lightning, I could not have been better served by Bob Brown and his team," said Caslen. "For many of you who know Bob Brown, his leadership and competence are unparalleled.
"He's provided tremendous support to this Division with his talent and ability to manage the support and logistical needs of the Soldiers. He also projects a personality that matches his stature," continued Caslen, with a nod to Brown's impressive height. "Utilizing the combination of all these qualities, simply put - he builds relationships, the kind of relationships that benefit the Soldiers, our Army, and the Nation.
"Thanks for all you have done, and know there is always a place for you and your family here at Schofield Barracks and the 25th Infantry Division," said Caslen.
Brown thanked his wife, Division leadership and staff, his mentors, his team in Mosul, and a group of friends he called the 'North Shore Crew.'
"They've taught me to surf, they taught me the culture in Hawaii, and I'm just grateful for the friendship of those in the community -- it's just been fantastic," said Brown. "It's truly a great team, I'm really honored to be a part of it," he continued.
After the ceremony attendees bid Brown and his wife Patti farewell with leis, hugs, handshakes and warm wishes as they prepare to depart for Europe. Nominated for appointment to the grade of major general, Brown will serve his next assignment in Germany as the chief of staff, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army, North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Unique to the division, the "Flying V" ceremony consists of brigade commanders and unit guidons from the battalion and above, posted in a V-shaped formation. The observance is similar to the more familiar change of command ceremony. The Marine Forces Pacific Band provided musical accompaniment.