FORT GORDON, Ga. — Piqua native and Miami East alumn Paul Craft was promoted from colonel to brigadier general of the United States Army on Friday, Sept. 25 in a pinning ceremony held at Fort Gordon, Ga.
“It’s very, very humbling. It’s quite an honor, but obviously I didn’t earn this one alone. My family from Ohio, my wife who has been with me for a long time, my church family, and especially the soldiers I’ve served with are the reason why I was able to be promoted,” Craft said. “I don’t know if I ever envisioned myself obtaining this rank. What my vision was to serve our nation in whatever capacity I could, and I felt like I achieved that vision by joining the United States Army.”
Craft, who graduated from Miami East in 1989 and entered the Army in 1993, went on to earn a bachelor of science from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, as well as three master’s degrees; a master of science in Information Management and a Master of Business Administration (dual degree) from Arizona State University as part of the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling program, and a master of science in National Security and Resource Strategy with a concentration in Cyber from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University. His resume is peppered with leadership and staffing positions such as platoon leader, company commander, battalion and brigade commander, as well as tours in armistice operations in the Republic of Korea, peace-keeping operations in Haiti, and multiple combat operations in Afghanistan. At the operational and strategic level, Craft has served at third Military Intelligence Battalion (INSCOM), U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence (TRADOC), U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC), Network Engineering and Technology Command (NETCOM), Department of the Army Chief Information Officer / G-6 (DA CIO/G-6), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and Joint Force Headquarters — Department of Defense Information Network / U.S. Cyber Command (JFHQ-DODIN/USCYBERCOM).
He currently serves as the Army’s fourth Chief of Cyber and Commandant of the U.S. Army Cyber School headquartered in Fort Gordon, Georgia, with schools in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and NAS Pensacola-Corry Station, Florida. The cyber school branch is the smallest branch in the Army and at only six years old, is the newest branch.
“We’re still a work in progress, but with the superb leadership of men and women like Paul, we continue to advance our capabilities at a rapid pace,” Lieutenant General Stephen G. Fogarty of the United States Army said during Friday’s pinning ceremony. “I doubt that Paul ever imagined, that when he left the summer of 1989, that he would be standing here this morning, waiting his promotion to brigadier general. For those in Piqua, who are still online this morning, you should be proud of Paul. He represents you very well. I know he’s very proud of his roots.”
Much of Craft’s work ethic, which is something that was praised in speeches during the pinning ceremony, he credits to other people — be it his fellow soldiers he’s served with, or the people he grew up around in the Miami Valley.
“For me, growing up on a farm in a hard-working community, really throughout the Miami Valley throughout Piqua and Troy and Fletcher and Casstown, those little small and medium-sized towns, what really shaped me was the people,” Craft said. “The people shaped me, the hard work ethic I think across the board in that portion of the country, just getting after it and working hard really, to me, was the basis for my work ethic in the military. Being from that area of Ohio really shaped me as a person. I am really proud to be from Ohio, really proud to be from the Miami Valley and Miami County, and I appreciate all those who have supported my family throughout the years.”