Mixon retires after 36 years, relinquishes command

| March 18, 2011 | 0 Comments

Russell Dodson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs



FORT SHAFTER — Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, will relinquish command to Maj. Gen. Francis Wiercinski at 11 a.m., March 21, on Palm Circle, here.

Mixon also will retire after serving nearly 36 years.

“I’ve spent almost 36 years in the Army, and it has been an absolutely wonderful experience,” Mixon said. “It has been a privilege working with the best Soldiers in the world. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Soldiers and families for staying on the Army team and for their commitment.”

Mixon has been stationed in Hawaii for the past six years.

“My most memorable moment since I’ve been in the Pacific was (commanding) the 25th Infantry Division in combat,” he said. “That division was a task force that received over 20,000 Soldiers during the surge. It was a wonderful experience and yet a very hard experience. The sacrifices of our Soldiers and families during that period (of time) were absolutely overwhelming to me.”

Mixon took command of USARPAC in February 2008, and during his time in Hawaii, he received the opportunity to travel all over the Pacific and meet interesting people.

“Soldiers in USARPAC work in a culturally diverse environment; getting that message out was particularly important to me,” he said. “To increase

Soldiers’ awareness for other cultures and show dignity and respect, (to) try and learn a little bit about the language. If Soldiers do these things, they’ll be a success in operating in this dynamic environment.”

Mixon said that USARPAC will transition from a theater-Army to the Army’s largest service-component command, with integration of the 8th Army in South Korea. The change is scheduled for October.

“It will be a challenge, but we are well prepared,” Mixon said. “We will also be in a period of declining resources; we have to make sure we maximize our resources to ensure we have a trained and ready force and continue to meet our obligations to our families.”

Mixon’s career began when he was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant in 1975. During his most recent deployment, he served as commander of Task Force Lightning and Multi-National Division North in Iraq.

“I leave the Army with a great deal of pride and respect for our Soldiers,” Mixon said.

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Category: Leadership, News

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