U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General and 53rd Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick promoted South Pacific Division Commander Col. Mark Toy to the rank of brigadier general Aug. 15 in a ceremony at the Eagle's Nest Clubhouse, Cypress, California.
Toy's wife and children joined Bostick in pinning the one-star insignia on his uniform amidst applause from family, friends and colleagues that included Rep. Grace Napolitano and retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers, the 50th Chief of Engineers.
"The Army recruits a Soldier, commissions an officer, but we retain a Family," said Bostick. "Each of you, and those you represent, are a big part of this special day."
According to About.com, fewer than one percent of career officers ever make general/flag officer. Bostick acknowledged the significance promotion to brigadier general represents to the Army.
"Out of 2,394 colonels considered for promotion to brigadier general, only 42 were selected. That's a selection rate of just 1.75 percent," said Bostick. "Out of the 97 engineer colonels considered for promotion, only two were selected; Mark Toy and one other serving on the East Coast."
Toy is a former Los Angeles District Commander who relinquished command of that district a year ago at the same location in an event attended by many also present for his promotion ceremony.
He said he discovered early in his career that his passion is to be with Soldiers, and later, Department of the Army Civilians.
"I truly believe I have lasted this long in the Army because I have enjoyed every assignment that has come my way," said Toy. "Whether it was tactical units, graduate school, or other broadening assignments, the Army has always given me incredible opportunities for personal and professional growth."
During the ceremony, Toy's mother presented him with a new beret with the one-star insignia. Flowers presented Toy a general officer's belt and sidearm. Toy's in-laws uncased and unfurled his general officer's flag.