By Army Accessions Command PAO
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Victor Petrenko became the Army's newest general officer Aug. 6 at Fort Knox.
Army Accessions Commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley hosted the promotion ceremony for his deputy commander and chief of staff on a steamy afternoon. Petrenko's family and Freakley affixed the brigadier general rank on the new flag officer.
"He is a warrior. He is a Soldier. He is a leader... a dedicated son, husband, and father," Freakley said of Petrenko. "He is the definition in my mind of an officer. He lives the Army values, epitomizes the Warrior Ethos."
Colonel insignia was removed from Petrenko's Army Service Uniform jacket and dress white shirt, replaced by a star on each. Doing the honors were Freakley, Petrenko's wife Amy; his father Leonid; and his aunt, Tamara Burda.
"I'm truly humbled by not only the promotion, but more importantly your attendance," he said. "When I entered service 27 years ago, I never dreamed I'd be standing here at beautiful Fort Knox, being promoted to a general officer."
Petrenko explained how his military aspirations had only been to reach the rank of captain.
"I need to thank the Lord Almighty for all the blessings He has bestowed on my family, for I truly believe that nothing is possible without His help," he said.
Brig. Gen. Petrenko went on to thank his family - immediate, extended, and Army - for their support, mentorship, and love. Becoming choked up, he said that it was difficult to explain the bonds forged.
Before ending his speech, Brig. Gen. Petrenko asked for a round of applause for "all the great veterans that have served our nation."