The Seoul Metropolitan Government will name U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Walter Sharp as an honorary citizen for his contribution to the safety of the Korean Peninsula, officials said Monday.
“Gen. Sharp has made many efforts to promote bilateral relations between the U.S. soldiers and surrounding citizens, like starting the Good Neighbor English Camp program for Korean high school students,” said a capital official.
Sharp has unique ties to Korea, starting with his father who served in the Korean War.
Sharp graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point, and has since served multiple times on the Korean Peninsula, including as Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver 2nd Infantry Division.
The 58-year-old has also commanded troops in numerous military operations, mainly in the Middle East.
After his tenure ceremony on July 14, Sharp plans to return to the U.S. and retire.
Gen. James Thurman is expected to replace Sharp at the helm of USFK.
Honorary citizens can participate in a variety of municipal events as VIPs and enter city-run facilities free of charge such as the Seoul Museum of History, Seoul Grand Park and the Seoul Museum of Art.
The city has been offering honorary citizenship to foreigners each year since 1959 to recognize their contributions to developing and promoting Korea. The number of foreigners given the award so far totals 607 people from 90 nations.
Previous recipients include former national football team coach Guus Hiddink of the Netherlands, former U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, American football player Hines Ward and Susan Cox, vice president of Holt International Children’s Services.
By Robert Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)