15 July 2013

Past Iowa 'Red Bull' Leader Promoted to 1-star General

The former commander of the Iowa National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Brigade (2-34th BCT), Benjamin J. Corell of Strawberry Point, Iowa, was promoted from the rank of colonel to brigadier general in a ceremony earlier this month.

In the U.S. Army, the rank of brigadier is denoted by a single star. Historically, brigadier generals commanded brigades—in today's army, more than 3,500 soldiers. Today, however, brigades are usually commanded by colonels.

As a colonel, Corell commanded 2-34th BCT during its 2010-2011 deployment to Eastern Afghanistan. During that deployment, among other highlights, the Iowa unit participated in the largest helicopter-borne operation during rotations overseen by the active-duty Army's 101st Airborne Division, the "Screaming Eagles." During his career, Corell has also commanded smaller "Red Bull" units on deployments to Iraq, Egypt, and Kuwait.

In September 2012, Corell was assigned as the deputy division commander overseeing support operations, 34th Inf. Div. headquarters, in Rosemount, Minn., and will continue in that position.

Corell also serves as the current president of the 34th Infantry Division Association.

Corell's family, including his wife Beth, as well as three sons who are non-commissioned officers in the division, was in attendance at the July 3 event. The family presented Corell with a ceremonial one-star flag, general officer's belt, and pistol. On the weapon was inscribed the 34th Inf. Div. shoulder patch, as well as the division's motto, "Attack! Attack! Attack!"

In speeches, Corell often credits the World War II generation for inspiring him to live and work toward their values, standards, and ideals. In his promotion ceremony remarks, he added, "This promotion isn't so much about what I've done, but about what I'm going to do and what the expectations are. I see a responsibility that I have with this promotion and assignment. It is to shape this organization as a collective, and to pull each individual up to their highest potential."

Maj. Gen. David Elicerio, the 34th Inf. Div. commander, told the audience that Corell is "a man I would want on my left or my right, in my foxhole, or should it come to it, leading my children in combat."

Photos by Army Staff Sgt. Paul Santikko, Minnesota National Guard

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