Eighth Army names command post after war hero
SEOUL — Eighth Army named its mobile operational command post after the Republic of Korea Army’s first four-star general at its old Korean War headquarters here June 17.
During a ceremony, Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson announced that it will be called the General Paik Sun-yup Command Post.
The naming ceremony was also attended by incoming Eighth Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux and the Eighth Army staff directors.
A Korean War hero who became the ROK Army’s first four-star general, Paik briefed the staff at the old Eighth Army headquarters on the former campus of Seoul National University.
The command post is part of Eighth Army’s transformation from an Army Service Component Command to a Field Army capable of commanding multinational corps-level combat formations.
During the Korean War, Paik visited the old headquarters where former Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. James Van Fleet led ground combat operations before the storied formation moved to its current headquarters on Yongsan Garrison.
The ROK Army general chronicled his Korean War service in his memoir From Pusan to Panmunjom.
During the briefing, Paik described the major battles he participated in during Korean War from the Nakdong River to the Yalu River. He also talked about the larger-than-life leaders he served with during the war.
During his time in the ROK Army, Paik commanded the 5th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, 1st Infantry Division, I Corps, II Corps, First ROK Army, ROK Army and ROK Armed Forces.
After retiring from the ROK Army, Paik also served as South Korea’s ambassador to Taiwan in 1960, France in 1961 and Canada in 1965. He later became the ROK Minister of Transportation and helped to launch construction of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway System.
Johnson said Eighth Army has returned to its operational roots with its new combined joint task force mission and its mobile command post.
"General Paik just briefed us about the role that this building played in the Korean War," said Johnson, who has served as the Eighth Army commanding general since November 2010. "Our modern command post has its roots in the very first Eighth Army commanders here in Korea."
"There is a tradition in the United States Army to name those things that we're most found of," said Johnson. "We name buildings after heroes. And in many of our best outfits, we name our command posts. Today we're gathered here to name our mobile command post the General Paik Sun-Yup Command Post."