The 1st Cavalry Division’s deputy commanding generals were promoted to the rank of brigadier general during a ceremony in front of the division’s headquarters on Cooper Field on Friday.
Miles Brown, deputy commander for support, and Christopher R. Norrie, deputy commander for maneuver, received their first star in front of a gathered crowd of community leaders, soldiers, friends and family members.
Maj. Gen. Paul T. Calvert, the 1st Cavalry Division commander, presided over the ceremony and said he was excited to participate in the promotion ceremony of two deserving troopers.
“I’m fired up about the difference Miles Brown and Chris Norrie are going to make for our division and our Army as general officers,” Calvert said.
Calvert said Brown and Norrie were two special leaders and men.
“They have been molded and shaped into who they are by the leaders and soldiers that they have served with, and more importantly, by their family and friends,” Calvert said. “Miles and Chris, it is crystal clear to me why you were both selected to be a general officer; it has been a privilege to watch you grow and develop over the years we’ve known one another.”
Calvert said Brown and Norrie were forward thinking, inclusive and inspired others into action.
“You understand how to build relationships, gain consensus to solve problems, translate strategic intent into tactical action and work as part of team to achieve common purpose that enables mission success,” he said. “You do all of this with humility, balance and a heart for soldiers.”
Norrie’s wife Kathryn presented him his cavalry Stetson with brigadier general insignia, daughter Bryn replaced his uniform rank patch, and son Tyler presented him the general officer belt. Kathryn also assisted in uncasing the general’s flag.
“Thank you so much for being here today; it’s such an honor for us, our entire family, to share this humbling and special day with all of you,” Norrie said.“Gen. Calvert, sir, thank you for allowing me to serve as part of your exceptional team, the greatest team in the world, ‘America’s First Team,’ the most lethal division on planet earth, the greatest concentration of combat power in the world, with an operating budget that exceeds the total defense budget of 49 nations in the world today.”
Norrie thanked a long list of family, friends and mentors for their support and assistance throughout the years.
“To every soldier and leader I’ve had the privilege of serving with, thank you, this would not be possible without you, I’m so grateful and thankful for you and the tremendous difference that you’ve made for me personally and for our family,” Norrie said. “We are so grateful for the privilege of continuing to serve as part of this exceptional Army team. It’s an incredible day to be a proud 1st Cavalry Division trooper and a soldier in the greatest army in the greatest nation on Earth.”
Brown’s wife Jamie presented him his cavalry Stetson with brigadier general insignia while his father, Charles Brown, replaced his uniform rank insignia. Brown’s son Andrew presented the general officer belt and daughter Abigail helped to uncase the general’s flag.
“On the 28th of September 1989, I enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army Reserve. Exactly 29 years later I’m blessed to be here on Cooper Field as a First Team trooper,” Brown said. “I thank God that I am able to continue to serve and I’m humbled at this opportunity.”
Brown said Cooper Field was sacred ground to him and his family.
“I have marched on this field in parade, I rode a horse into and out of battalion command here, I’ve done (physical training) across this field, I’ve done fireman’s carries and sprinted, I’ve been welcomed home on this field twice after combat deployments and now we’re here today,” Brown said.
Brown also thanked his family, friends and mentors for their leadership and friendship throughout the years.
“When I think about the 1st Cavalry Division and when I think about Cooper Field, I always think about this community,” Brown said. “Central Texas is a special place because of the people.”
Brown shared a quote from Maya Angelou that said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Today I hope you take away from my comments that my family and I are happy, but not because of an advancement, but because of the people that we got to meet along the way,” Brown said.