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USARPAC Becomes 4-Star Headquarters during Change of Command

By Staff SGT. Amber Robinson

Army News Service

July 3, 2013

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Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno presided over the U.S. Army Pacific change-of-command Flying V ceremony from Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski to Gen. Vincent K. Brooks on July 2 at Historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

The event was a historical moment for U.S. Army Pacific, known as USARPAC, which formally transitioned to a four-star command July 2, symbolizing the continued rebalance for the United States in the Asia Pacific region. Ladies and gentlemen, the significance of today’s ceremony and the message of
our commitment here is a clear message. It’s a clear message to the region, and we’re honored to be a part of it,” Brooks said.

In addition to the traditional military pomp and circumstance of the ceremony was a special honor presented to USARPAC by Irene Inouye, the widow of the late Hawaiian Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Mrs. Inouye attended the ceremony and presented the new commanding general the Inouye Star, a crystal Eagle statue, which will be displayed at USARPAC headquarters as a lasting tribute and reminder of her husband’s role in making USARPAC a four-star theater Army headquarters.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno passes the unit’s colors to Gen. Vincent Brooks

“My late husband felt that this fourth star was critical to our position in the Pacific,” said Mrs. Inouye.

“What an honor it is to be on this historic field, where the U.S. Army’s presence in the Pacific has been evident every day for over a century,” Brooks said.

“And while the challenges before us are numerous, I think the opportunities for us to make a difference for the Army and for this joint team are even more plentiful,” Brooks added. “I’m honored to lead this command, keeping it available and responsive to the requirements that each of you set and the directives that each of you give.”

Weircinski, who is retiring after 34 years of service and plans to make Hawaii his home, served as the USARPAC commander since March 2011, and told the audience his time served here “was a dream come true.”

“Today is a great day for Pacific Command, the Army and for U.S. Army Pacific,” said Weircinski. “Commanding this unit has truly been an honor and something I will never forget.”