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News | July 12, 2021

USAREC deputy commander earns first star

By Kelli Bland USAREC Public Affairs

U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s deputy commander pinned on his first star to become a general officer in the U.S. Army during a ceremony here July 9.

Newly promoted Brig. Gen. John Cushing, who came to the command from the 3rd Infantry Division last month, joins the less than one percent of Army officers who achieve the rank.

“I am speechless – getting promoted is not about me. I can easily name many people who are far smarter, stronger and better deserving than me,” Cushing said. “This promotion is about all of the Soldiers that I have led, the mentors who have given me advice, the peers who have helped me along the way, and my family for letting me live my boyhood dream.”

Cushing is a third generation armor officer who began his Army journey at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1989. He earned a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering and the received his commission as second lieutenant in 1993.

In his 28-year career, he has served all over the world and earned two master’s degrees – one in systems and information engineering from the University of Virginia and one in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Cushing credits the Army for his success in his career and in life.

“Besides how to lead Soldiers and take care of both them and their families, the Army taught me how to be a better man, father and husband.  I have been able to watch some great leaders masterfully balance their faith, the mission and their families.  I watched and learned and asked lots of questions – I consider every day as an opportunity to learn and when I stop learning, I will need to find something else to do!”

Cushing’s father served as an armor officer and fought in Vietnam. He died when Cushing was a senior in high school, and he says the Army became part of his support system.

“I am who I am today because of my mother. The Army provided me through my mentors and friends, the father that I lost,” he said.  “It taught me about life and how to be a better man.  I am not better than anyone else, I was just fortunate to have the opportunities I had, met the people that met, and had a family that loved and supported me.”

Cushing comes to USAREC with previous experience as the 1st Recruiting Brigade commander. He offers advice from his own life experiences to new Soldiers who are just beginning their Army journey.

“Never waste a day – do your best every day and never accept substandard performance – your Soldiers deserve the very best, you owe it to them to be the very best,” he said. “Be the ‘leader you want to be led by.’ Make a difference in someone’s life every day, be humble, and treat others like you would like to be treated.”

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