JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va., April 17, 2012 -- Burt K. Thompson says the story of him becoming a general officer in the U.S. Army isn't about himself; it's about the success of a "team of teams" that he's served with and learned from throughout his entire military career.
Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joseph W. Westphal promoted Thompson, who once served as Westphal's executive officer, to brigadier general during a ceremony conducted among family and friends April13, 2012, at the Fort Myer Officer's Club.
During the ceremony, Westphal explained how the Army carefully grooms and selects its general officers, and that this accomplishment is testimony to Thompson's leadership and the support of his family.
"In the Army, we cannot just hire generals to lead our Soldiers. They are groomed and selected from our ranks and Burt represents the very best of our leadership in the Army," Westphal said.
"Becoming a general officer in our Army requires learning and mastering the art of accomplishing the mission at all levels," Westphal commented. "Burt is a great Warfighter, gentleman, scholar and commander and he has come to this point in his career by taking extraordinary care of his Soldiers."
Numerous family and friends attended the ceremony, including Thompson's lifelong mentor Dr. Francis Amos, who is a physician in Rocky Mount, Va. During the ceremony, Amos shared stories of Thompson's youth and underscored the focus, maturity and determination that he's had since childhood.
"Burt has always been a determined young man, and I am honored to be here today to witness how his hard work has paid off over the years," Amos said. "It's been an absolute pleasure watching him grow, and I, as well as the community of Rocky Mount, are immensely proud of him and his family."
Thompson recognized his wife, four children and sister in his remarks and by presenting each of them with a special memento. He also honored his late mother with a single rose dedicated to her memory and the impact she's had on his life. Further highlighting that many have helped him along his journey, he also recognized numerous Soldiers present at the ceremony and commented that they represent every unit that he has served in throughout the course of his career.
"All of you are special to me, and are a part of my 28 years of service. You represent a team of teams, and I am grateful for all that you contribute to my life," Thompson said. "It's extremely humbling to be standing up here and I thank everyone for being here today."
Thompson is a native of Wilmington, N.C., and a 1984 graduate of Norwich University. He has served as a platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander and brigade commander in a variety of storied Army units. He has also served in key staff positions in tactical units as well as on the Army and joint staffs in the Pentagon. In his current role, he serves as the Deputy Director for Operations with the National Military Command Center, J-3, Joint Staff in Washington. With his promotion, he has been selected to serve as the Deputy Commander of the 25th Infantry Division in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Photo credit: Spc. John G. Martinez, U.S. Army