POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 21, 2011
Maj. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski has been assigned as the next commander of U.S. Army Pacific, headquartered at Fort Shafter, the Pentagon said yesterday.
Wiercinski, who will receive a third star and become a lieutenant general with U.S. Senate approval of the posting, most recently served as commanding general of U.S. Army Japan and commanding general I Corps (Forward) in Japan.
A change of command is scheduled for March 21. The commander of U.S. Army Pacific controls about 54,000 soldiers in the region, officials said.
Wiercinski is no stranger to Hawaii.
He became deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific on Jan. 2, 2008. In June of that year he assumed command of U.S. Army Japan.
Wiercinski was the deputy commanding general (support) for the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks from July 2005 to June 2006 before deploying to Iraq as the deputy commanding general (support) for Multi-National Division North from July 2006 to December 2007.
According to his Army biography, Wiercinski is a native of Dickson City, Pa., and was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1979.
He was first assigned to the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, of the 25th Infantry Division.
Wiercinski will succeed Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. "Randy" Mixon, who took command of U.S. Army Pacific on Feb. 1, 2008.
Mixon commanded the 25th Division at Schofield from July 2005 to January 2008. From July 2006 to October 2007 Mixon was the commander of Task Force Lightning and Multi-National Division North in Iraq.
Mixon is retiring after a near 36-year Army career.