FORT HOOD - Col. Matthew J. Van Wagenen, the 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander for support, was promoted to brigadier general Friday during a ceremony at Cooper Field. 

Van Wagenen said the promotion was the heaviest amount of responsibility he’d ever taken on in the Army.

“It’s about taking care of our “First Team” troopers here, a lot of responsibility comes with this rank,” Van Wagenen said.

Van Wagenen’s wife Stefanie, replaced his colonel insignia with the brigadier general insignia on his uniform during the ceremony. His daughter Isabelle presented him with a ceremonial general officer belt and son David presented him with a general officer’s Model M9 pistol.

Van Wagenen had advice for young officers wishing to achieve the rank of a general officer.

“Don’t ever aspire to be a general officer,” Van Wagenen said. “My advice is to do the best you can in the position that the Army gives you every day, and the rest will take care of itself.”

Van Wagenen’s most recent previous assignments include serving as the commander of Task Force Southeast in Gardez City, Paktia Province, Afghanistan from April to August 2017, and commander of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, from June 2014 to March 2016.

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