YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea (Aug. 10, 2012) -- The Eighth Army deputy commander for operations said readiness is the key to maintaining security on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia.

"North Korea continues to threaten the peninsula and the region with its provocative actions and rhetoric as well as its pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction," said Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Walter M. Golden. "For more than 62 years, Eighth Army has helped to deter this threat."

"As the U.S. military shifts its focus to the Pacific, this mission remains as important as ever," said Golden, a native of Salida, Colo. "Deterring aggression requires a very high state of readiness and that is why it is imperative that we train together with our [Republic of Korea] allies as often as possible to maintain that level of readiness."

The former 2nd Infantry Division assistant division commander for maneuver was welcomed to the U.S. Army's top operational headquarters in South Korea, Aug. 10, during a ceremony on this U.S. military post in Seoul.

Numerous senior officials attended the ceremony, including the Republic of Korea, or ROK, Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Park Sung-choon, Dongducheon Mayor Oh Se-chang and Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

The Dongducheon mayor previously named Golden an honorary citizen of his city, which is adjacent to Camp Casey, during the general's tour with the 2nd Infantry Division.

Golden reported to Eighth Army following an assignment as the deputy chief of police with the NATO training mission in Afghanistan.

Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson said Golden will play a critical role as Eighth Army transforms into a Field Army capable of commanding multinational corps-level combat units during conflicts and contingencies.

"For more than 30 years, General Walter Golden has served on the forward edge of freedom," said Johnson, "and he will play a crucial role on the Eighth Army command team as we continue to defend liberty here with our ROK allies."

An Army Black Hawk pilot and Harvard alumnus, Golden said he jumped at the opportunity to serve in Korea again.

"Korea is one of America's greatest allies and the ROK-U.S. Alliance is the strongest military alliance in the world," said Golden. "Today, this modern, democratic and prosperous nation serves as a great example of what free people can accomplish together."