WASHINGTON — As Gen. Vincent Brooks, the outgoing US Army Pacific Command commander, heads into his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday to become the next leader of all US military forces in Korea, one name is bubbling to the surface as his possible replacement.
Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, who is commander of the US Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is likely slated to take over for Brooks, sources say, although nothing has been formally announced.
Brown is the only three-star general up for his fourth star, which is pending approval in the Senate. Yet, his next appointment is not stated. Also listed among pending confirmations is the nomination of Brooks and Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti's nomination to become the next NATO supreme allied commander in Europe. Brooks is replacing Scaparrotti in Korea.
The Army is required to appoint a four-star general to command the Army in the Pacific, a requirement reborn when Brooks took command and meant to foster equal footing, in terms of rank, with other military leaders of countries in the Pacific. Brooks was the first four-star general to take over the command since 1974.
Brown has relevant Pacific Command experience, having served as a USARPAC plans officer and as the executive assistant for the director of training and exercises under the Pacific Command's commander at the command's headquarters.
Prior to his job at Fort Leavenworth, Brown served as I Corps commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Brown has also been the commanding general in charge of infantry and armor forces at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. He also commanded a Stryker Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Washington, in Iraq and was a battalion commander of a mechanized infantry battalion at Fort Hood, Texas, that included a deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina.