FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Lieutenant Gen. Dan McNeill was promoted to a full General ranking at a promotion ceremony at Fort Bragg Thursday.
"It's never been about promotions. I think I can help the Army a lot as a commanding general forces commander and that's what I intend to do," McNeill said.
McNeill has completed numerous assignments at the post and recently took over as Commanding General of U.S. Army Forces Command. The unit is based at Fort McPherson, Ga., but when he heard he was getting a promotion, he said he wanted the ceremony at Fort Bragg.
"I spent 23 years of my time in the Army at Fort Bragg, so the preponderance of my adult life I spent as a citizen of this community," he said.
McNeill spent more time at Bragg than any other post. When he left, he was the post's top soldier, but no matter how high he climbed, soldiers describe him as a hands-on leader.
"No matter what level of command he's been at, he's taken care of the soldiers and ensuring that we got all of the things we needed to train with," said Sfc. Emmitt Spurgeon.
McNeill, an North Carolina State University alumnus, commanded almost all of the 7,000 U.S. forces and coordinated the efforts of coalition forces from Canada, Britain and other countries in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker said McNeill's promotion is not because of what he did in the past, but what he will do in the future. At times, McNeill command as many as 1 million soldiers.
McNeill is in rare company. Right now, there are only about 20 full generals in the U.S. Army.