Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2014, 10:08 pm

Rock Island Arsenal Digest for Feb. 16

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Photo: (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright, ASC Public Affairs)
Maj. Gen. John Wharton, ASC commanding general, and Lori Mitchell affix brigadier general rank on the uniform of Brig. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, deputy commanding general, ASC, during his promotion ceremony in the RIA Golf Club Ballroom, Feb. 7.
ASC's deputy commanding officer receives first star, new title

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL — Army Sustainment Command's deputy commanding officer received his first star at a ceremony in the RIA Golf Club Ballroom packed with family, friends and colleagues on Feb. 7.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Mitchell now is ASC's deputy commanding general.

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. John Wharton, ASC and Rock Island Arsenal commanding general and ceremony host, was hailed with two ruffles and flourishes and the General's March — a tune played during ceremonies to honor and salute attending generals.

"It's a great day for the Army and a great day for the Mitchell family as we get to recognize Dan and promote him," said Wharton.

A total of 6,264 officers were assessed into the U.S. Army the year Mitchell earned his commission, Wharton said. "Of that number, only 10 are general officers. I want to put that in perspective for you of the toughness of that cut. Dan has truly earned the right to be a general officer."

After the promotion orders were read, Mitchell's family helped "pin" on his new rank and presented the general officer tokens — the general officer belt and the general officer side arm. He was joined by wife, Lori; daughter, Christine; and sons, David, Garrett and Jonathan.

With right hand raised, Wharton then administered the oath of office to Mitchell.

Sgt. Maj. Douglas Martin, Mitchell's operations sergeant major, unfurled and presented a one-star general officer flag to Wharton, who then presented it to Mitchell, symbolizing the continuance of Mitchell's authority as a newly promoted brigadier general.

"I'm extremely honored to be promoted to brigadier general in this great Army," said Mitchell. "I know that anything I have achieved is because of the great support I've had from family and friends and comrades along the way, throughout my life and career."

Immediately after the ceremony, guests gathered in Quarters One for food and refreshments to congratulate Mitchell and his family.

Mitchell was commissioned a second lieutenant at the U.S. Military Academy as an ordnance officer in 1985. He has served in various command and staff positions during his career, including a battalion command with the 201st Forward Support Battalion, First Infantry Division in Germany, Kosovo and Iraq.

"Dan is quiet. He is unassuming," said Wharton. "He is very humble. He never brags. He just gets the job done. And that's a characteristic I've seen him do over the years."

Mitchell was assigned to the Arsenal last July.

"It's kind of interesting that after all these years, 28 years of service, we get to promote him in his home state," Wharton said.

"I can't think of a better place to get promoted to brigadier general," said Mitchell. "I was born in Waterloo and raised north of Peoria. So this is great. I consider it God's country. It's where I'm from. The people around here are my people. So it is a great honor."

The tradition of the general officer flag began in 1910 when general officers were authorized a boat flag with their star rank. In 1923, an automobile flag and a field officer flag were added. A line officer had a scarlet colored flag with a white star and gold trim. In 1947, all general officer flags, except those of medical and chaplain corps general officers, were designed in the scarlet color to show command ability.

The general officer's belt was originally worn to hold an officer's saber. Through time, its function has changed, but it remains a time-honored symbol of a general officer.

The general officer's side arm is issued to each individual general officer on a loan basis. The loan remains valid until the officer retires from active duty and returns it or buys it.

Some of Mitchell's highest awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with one OLC, the Meritorious Service Medal with three OLCs, the Kosovo and Iraq Campaign Medals, the Combat Action Badge and the Army Parachutist Badge.

The National Anthem was sung by Everline Barnard, executive assistant, ASC, and Jereen Phillips-Hardin, administrative and human resource support specialist, ASC. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert Land, ASC chaplain, provided the invocation.

-- Submitted by Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright, ASC Public Affairs