Ceremony bestows brigadier general rank on U.S. Army Europe's head logistician

April 20, 2012

By Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

Keeping heroes active
U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling administers the oath of office to Col. (P) Steven A. Shapiro, USAREUR deputy chief of staff for logistics (G4), during a frocking ceremony in Heidelberg, Germany, April 20. The frocking gives Shapiro, who was nominated for promotion to brigadier general in May 2011, the right to wear the one-star rank and function in a brigadier general position. Shapiro will soon depart USAREUR to become the director of U.S. Forces Afghanistan's Materiel Enterprise Integration and Retrograde Operations Center. (Photo by Harald Risch)

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- A new star took its place in the Army universe as U.S. Army Europe’s deputy chief of staff of logistics (G4), was frocked in the rank of brigadier general in a ceremony here, April 20.

The ceremony attended by USAREUR commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling and other senior USAREUR staff members, recognized Col. (P) Steven Shapiro’s May 2011 nomination for his first star.

With the frocking comes a new position for Shapiro. He will leave Europe soon for an assignment with U.S. Forces Afghanistan, where he will serve as director of the Materiel Enterprise Integration and Retrograde Operations Center.

In remarks during the ceremony, Hertling compared Shapiro to Lt. Gen. John Clifford Hodges Lee, the senior logistician for allied forces in Europe during World War II who has been described as passionate and tenacious about logistics. Shapiro is energetic, has the right values and “really knows what a commander needs,” Hertling added, and that’s why he was hand-picked to take on the job of sending the Army’s equipment home from Afghanistan.

“I hate to lose him,” Hertling said.

Shapiro thanked Hertling for his support and for presiding at the ceremony, and said he and his family have been fortunate to spend a third of his 27-year career in Europe as part of a high-quality team. USAREUR Soldiers have always enjoyed a reputation for attention to detail and exacting standards, he added.

Looking back over his career, Shapiro related several anecdotes that each illustrated how Soldiers, fellow officers, Army civilian employees, contractors, family members and others served as his role models and mentors and contributed to his education as a Soldier, officer and logistician, and fueled his desire to stay in the Army.

Frocking, outlined in Army Regulation 600-8-29 (Officer Promotions), is a process that allows officers serving in duty positions officially designated for a higher grade to wear the insignia of that grade so that their grade title is commensurate with the position.

During his career Shapiro has served in Operations Desert Storm, Joint Endeavor, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.  His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster) and the Parachutist Badge.

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