Col. John Hort, the 3rd Infantry Division’s deputy commanding general-rear, received his first star during a promotion ceremony Friday morning at Club Stewart. Hort was promoted to brigadier general by his commander, Maj. Gen. Robert “Abe” Abrams, who conducted the swearing in as a general officer via live streaming from his downrange headquarters in Afghanistan.
Abrams told guests he never met Hort until he came to Fort Stewart in June 2012 just before being made deputy commanding general-rear. He said, however, both he and Hort had “chewed some of the same dirt” during their military assignments. He commended Hort for having accepted and excelled in jobs most officers would not want.
In fact, Hort later explained he and his family were just about to board a plane to his new assignment with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii when his orders were diverted. Even though his car and household goods already were on their way to Hawaii, he was now being assigned to Fort McPherson, Ga., as the special assistant to the Forces Command G3. He was told it was a temporary assignment as McPherson was closing and FORSCOM was moving to Fort Bragg, N.C.
In addition to the reading of the official orders promoting Hort to brigadier general, the ceremony included the general’s belt, pistol and flag. His family participated in the festivities.
Hort’s wife pinned the star on his uniform while his daughter pinned one on his beret. His mother presented him with the pistol belt, then his father presented him with the 9mm Beretta. His son uncased the flag, a large white star on a red background trimmed with gold.
After the ceremony, Abrams administered the general officer’s oath to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Hort entered the Army with a Reserve Officers Training Corps commission through the University of North Carolina. He also has degrees from the University of Central Michigan and the Army War College.
During his 27-year career, he has served as an infantry brigade commander in Iraq and served another tour in Iraq as a military advisor to the Iraqi army. He also served with United Nations peacekeeping forces in Macedonia and as a company commander during Operation Just Cause in Panama.
In his remarks following his promotion, Hort credited his faith for enabling him to get through some of his tougher assignments in the Army. He said that his family, most of all, was his greatest inspiration and support.
“I want to thank my wife, my son and my daughter,” Hort said. “I’ve got a great team here. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of folks to work with.”
He said he was humbled by the number of family members and friends in attendance, including several fraternity brothers from UNC.
“There are a lot of people here today without whom, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.