The 1st Cavalry Division’s deputy home station commander was promoted to brigadier general Friday during a ceremony on Cooper’s Field.
Robert (Bob) F. Whittle Jr. has been handling home station duties while staff from the division’s headquarters, including division commander Maj. Gen. John C. Thomson III, have been deployed to Afghanistan since last year and has served in his current position since July 19, 2016.
Incoming III Corps and Fort Hood commander Maj. Gen. (promotable) Paul E. Funk II hosted the ceremony.
“So Bob asked me to talk for about 45 minutes today about all his accomplishments and what he’s done,” Funk said to laughter from the audience. “Bob grew up in Widow Springs Farm in Mystic, Conn. He had a rock farm, then an ant farm ... I’m kidding. The farm has been in the family for five generations and is currently run by his brother, Rick. Like most of our farming families, his has a solid connection to the military.”
Whittle’s great uncle served in World War I, his father in the National Guard and his uncle served two tours in Vietnam, Funk said. While not from Texas originally, he “got here as soon as he could” and met his wife, Kathleen, during graduate school at University of Texas Austin.
“As an engineer, he is the only deputy commanding general with three armored brigade combat teams,” Funk said.
“I’ve gotten the opportunity to know Bob and I appreciate his great leadership, especially in the challenging role of the home station commander while the First Team is forward deployed to Afghanistan.”
Whittle said his success was due to his family and that he could not have attained such a senior rank without his wife’s support.
“You’ve made me a better person, a better leader, a better father and, I hope, a better husband,” he said.
The newly-promoted brigadier general then made three promises to all in attendance.
“I will strive to do the right thing,” Whittle said. “I will take care of our soldiers and their families. And I will ensure that every formation I am a part of is ready to deploy, fight and win.”
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