The U.S. Army welcomed the commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command, Brig. Gen. Allan M. Pepin, into the general officer ranks during a ceremony, here, August 20.

Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander, U.S. Forces Command, presided over the ceremony.

“This is an unbelievably great day for our Army,” he said. “He (Pepin) has been such a tremendous leader. He’s affected so many lives, both Families and Soldiers. I can’t think of anyone in this year group more deserving of being promoted to brigadier general than Al Pepin.”

Previous to being assigned as the commander of USASOAC, Pepin worked for Abrams as his executive officer for two years. Their paths crossed originally in the 3rd Infantry Division when Abrams commanded the division and Pepin led the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.

“It took me about a second to figure out who I wanted as my executive officer over at Forces Command because this was the kind of leader I needed,” said Abrams.

“One thing about Al Pepin, first and foremost is he is a leader of character, he is one hundred percent completely selfless,” he continued. “He has gone where the Army sent him and did the very best he could.”

After the promotion order was published, Pepin’s wife, mother and brother affixed the brigadier general rank to his Army Service Uniform jacket. His son and his son’s wife affixed the rank to his uniform shirt while Abrams added the rank to Pepin’s beret.

Abrams then administered the oath of office to Pepin before Ruffles and Flourishes was played for the new brigadier general.

In his remarks, Pepin began by thanking is family for their support over the years.

“Thank you for your friendship and support, your unwavering sage advice and again through this crazy journey we have,” he began. “I could not have done anything I have done the last years of command and responsibility without you by my side. Thank you so much.”

He then presented his wife, mother and mother-in-law with roses.

“All the leaders here have set the bar very high, and if I can only try my best to be somewhat like each of you, again I’m moving in the right direction,” said Pepin addressing a row of general officers attending the ceremony.