Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Ryan Gonsalves, deputy commanding general for maneuver, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno during a ceremony at Founders Field, Aug. 17.
Gonsalves has been serving as the deputy commanding general since arriving on Fort Carson in 2011.
“It’s a special day for the Gonsalves Family, but it’s also a special day for our Army as Col. Ryan Gonsalves crosses an important threshold to join the distinguished ranks of the general officers corps,” said Odierno.
More importantly the promotion recognizes Gonsalves’ potential to serve in positions of even higher responsibility, Odierno said.
“Gonsalves demonstrated early on, in his lieutenant years, his leadership potential to become a senior leader in the Army,” said Odierno. “He has proven himself in peace and in war, as a dynamic and great example of the type of broadened leader we need as we move this Army into the future.”
Odierno pinned Gonsalves, with his wife, Janet Gonsalves, and their two children, Brittany and Nathan Gonsalves, joining him in the reviewing area.
After receiving his new rank, Gonsalves was presented with two distinctive items: the first round fired by the salute battery at the ceremony and the general officer belt, in honor of his accomplishment.
Unique to general officers, the general officer belt dates back to 1843 when then Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall decided that all generals needed a belt when carrying side arms, except in combat.
A native of Colorado Springs, Gonsalves received his commission in the Army as a second lieutenant in 1984, and reported to Fort Carson’s 4th Inf. Div. for his first duty station.
During Gonsalves’ 28 years of service, he has been stationed throughout the U.S. and Germany, and has deployed to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
In 2011, he came full circle and returned to his first duty station.
“Janet and I are very humble to be welcomed back into the 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson where I was born,” said Gonsalves. “To be promoted today, is very touching and means a lot to us.”
As the ceremony came to a close, Soldiers, Families and friends of Gonsalves and the 4th Inf. Div. congratulated the new brigadier general and wished him luck in his future endeavors and opportunities.
“It’s a special gift to be in a division, and it’s even more special to be in the 4th Inf. Div.,” said Gonsalves. “I really appreciate all of you coming out today to celebrate, I can’t be more thankful or humble with your presence and your participation in today’s ceremony.”