By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - The United States is elevating the status of the general who leads soldiers in the Pacific.
U.S. Army Pacific has been led by a three-star general for many years.
The Pentagon said Monday President Barack Obama is nominating Third Army commander Lt. Gen. Vincent Brooks to become the new Army Pacific commander. Obama is also nominating Brooks for promotion to four stars.
Putting a four-star general in charge of U.S. soldiers in the Pacific puts the Army on par with the Navy and Air Force in the region. Both services are currently led by four-star commanders in the Pacific.
Brooks currently leads U.S. soldiers in the U.S. Central Command area.
Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski is the current U.S. Army Pacific commander. He plans to retire after 34 years of service.