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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2021

Army Reserve engineer officer receives first star

By Sgt. 1st Class Tony Foster 412th Theater Engineer Command

Col. Louis Mitchell, U.S. Army Reserve engineer officer, received his first star during a promotion ceremony held in Columbia on Oct. 1 rising to the rank of brigadier general.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of Brig. Gen. Mitchell,” said Mrs. Karen Mitchell, Mitchell’s wife. “Our family is blessed to be able to witness this esteemed recognition as he is promoted to Brigadier General. We are grateful for his service to our country, and the example he has been for our family and community.”

Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Strand, 412th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) commander, presided over the ceremony. During his comments, Strand remarked on Mitchell’s early days in the U.S. Army.

“I know there is part of him that looks back at his career. I bet he cannot believe he made it this far,” said Strand. “Louis, do you remember your initial commissioning day in December of ’91? I bet if you told your younger self that you’d be a General one day, you would probably laugh at yourself.”

Mitchell, as Deputy Chief of Staff and G-3, brought a wealth of experience to the general officer ranks.

“He has been a part of the 412th Theater Engineer Command since August of 2020,” said Strand. “Since then he has contributed to the success of Pacific Sentry 21, Dalan ba Dame 21, and multiple NTC and training exercise rotations throughout the nation. What a legacy already!”

Following Strand’s comments, the rank change and flag unveiling, Mitchell engaged the crowd with words of gratitude and praise.

“Wow! We did it! Karen, we did it, mom we did it, dad in Heaven, we did it,” said Mitchell.

He continued on to speak about his views of our Nation. He also spoke about the six points of the U.S. Constitution’s preamble, one point being “to form a more perfect Union.”

“Certainly, there’s a lot of vitriol in social media and the media,” said Mitchell. “There’s a lot of rhetoric about our Union. It’s not perfect, but we’re striving to make a more perfect Union. I can tell you from my service and my travels, it is without question the best Union in the history of civilization.”

Mitchell concluded his speech as he began with gracious and thoughtful words to his wife, Family, friends and guests. Before departing, Mitchell asked two things of the audience, and that was to love and encourage their countrymen and to continue to extend their love and prayers.

“I’m still the same man,” said Mitchell. “These stars placed on my shoulders don’t make me a saint, they don’t make me a god. I still need your support. Thus, it is without any mental reservation that I have chosen to serve, and I’m proud to continue to serve.”

Mitchell moved forward to lead the 94th Training Division - Force Sustainment as Commander at Fort Lee, Virginia.