General Charles A Flynn, the younger brother of former US national security adviser Michael Flynn, has now assumed command of the US Army Pacific.
He took over from General Paul J LaCamera in a ceremony on Friday at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. General LaCamera was confirmed last month by the US Senate to be the next US Forces Korea commanding general.
General Flynn’s appointment comes after serving as deputy chief of staff for US Army operations, plans and training at the Pentagon since 2019.
Earlier this year, his role at the Pentagon during the 6 January Capitol riots came in for scrutiny. The US Army had initially denied that he was present at a meeting to discuss deploying the National Guard to the Capitol while the riots were unfolding. However, General Flynn later told the Washington Post that he had been on the call.
“[I] entered the room after the call began and departed prior to the call ending as I believed a decision was imminent,” he told the Post, and said he was working to implement the deployment of troops to the Capitol once the call had ended.
The decision-making process around the deployment was criticised at the time as having been too slow.
General Flynn earlier served as the US Army Pacific deputy commanding general from 2016-2018.
He is the 38th commanding general of the US Army Pacific, which has about 90,000 soldiers.
He said that “today, as China trends on an increasingly concerning path, presenting challenge to the free and open Pacific, the Army is charged to change once more,” reported specialist news outlet Stars and Stripes.
“If we operate, compete and fight domain-on-domain, we will cede advantages and put our future at risk. However, if we act, operate and fight as an integrated joint force – tightly linked to our allies and partners – there is no adversary on the planet that can match this team,” said General Flynn.
From 2014-2016, General Flynn commanded the 25th Infantry Division at Hawai-based Schofield Barracks. He has also commanded troops at different levels with the 82nd Airborne Division, serving combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the ceremony, US Army Chief of Staff General James C McConville expressed confidence that General Flynn will “continue to make sure that this command and these soldiers are ready to fight tonight and continue the momentum of delivering new capabilities for the future”.
He said General Flynn is a “proven leader that can work in an inter-agency, multi-national environment. He understands the importance of this region”.
General Flynn is also the young brother of Michael Flynn, the first and one-time national security adviser to former US president Donald Trump. Last month, the elder Flynn reportedly supported the idea of a coup in the US on the lines of one in Myanmar in which the military overthrew a democratically elected government and seized its powers.
Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the former Russian Ambassador to the US, before he was pardoned by Donald Trump during the latter’s final months in office in 2020.