Wiercinski takes USARPAC command, Mixon retires

| March 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
USARPAC Soldiers shoot cannons to symbolize the change of command from Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon to Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski during a ceremony, Monday, on historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter. Mixon has been the USARPAC commander since February 2008 and will retire this year. (Russell Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

USARPAC Soldiers shoot cannons to symbolize the change of command from Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon to Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski during a ceremony, Monday, on historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter. Mixon has been the USARPAC commander since February 2008 and will retire this year. (Russell Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
News Release

 

FORT SHAFTER — Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army, passed command of U.S. Army-Pacific from Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon to Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski during a change of command ceremony, Monday, at historic Palm Circle, here.

Mixon, who will retire at the end of May, had served as the USARPAC commander since February 2008. He also had commanded the 25th Infantry Division and Task Force Lightning in northern Iraq during the surge.

Wiercinski said that standing before him in “this historic, beautiful setting is a physical representation of what we really are. These commanders, command sergeants major, Soldiers and Marines represent the best of our nation. They are a generation of volunteers who stand up on that wall every day and say ‘not on my watch.’”

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski (left) receives the USARPAC colors from Gen. Peter Chiarelli (center), vice chief of staff of the Army, during the change of command ceremony, Monday, on historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, as Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon (right), outgoing USARPAC commander, watches. (Russell Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski (left) receives the USARPAC colors from Gen. Peter Chiarelli (center), vice chief of staff of the Army, during the change of command ceremony, Monday, on historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, as Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon (right), outgoing USARPAC commander, watches. (Russell Dodson | U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

He added that Soldiers need to live the Army values, embody the Soldier’s Creed and embrace the Warrior Ethos.

 

“The events of 9/11, our nine-plus years of sustained combat operations and, most recently, the tragic events endured by our friends, Soldiers and families in Japan, remind us that we have chosen a profession that does not allow us the luxury of requesting (time to be) better prepared — requiring 30 days notice to any catastrophic event,” he said. “Our profession demands from our nation, commander in chief and our people that we be prepared today.

“We will ensure that your Army in the Pacific is prepared,” he said.

No stranger to USARPAC, Wiercinski has served the as commander of U.S. Army-Japan and I Corps Forward from 2008-2010, and most recently, he was acting senior commander at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Wiercinski served as Mixon’s deputy briefly in 2008 and also as Mixon’s deputy commander in Multinational Forces Iraq-North.

“It is a great day to say, ‘I am a one-team Soldier,’” Wiercinski said. “I realize as new commander, I should have little to say and a lot to prove. But it is a subordinate commander’s dream to work in (Mixon’s) kind of command environment, where guidance is clear and intent is spot on and commanders are allowed to command.

“I am the benefactor of years of mentorship and watching two commanders who have given so much,” he said. “Randy and Rhonda Mixon — thank you so very much.”

As USARPAC commander, Wiercinski is now responsible for leading more than 62,000 active duty and Reserve component Soldiers, with more than 6,700 deployed in overseas contingency operations.

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Category: Leadership, News

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