Command Sgt. Maj. Orlando Santiago, left, furls the Colors of the 165th Quartermaster Group, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, with Col. John W. Simma Jr., before passing them off to Brig. Gen. Michael Dillard, right, during a deactivation ceremony, June 7. The Colors will be retired to the Center of Military History in Washington, D.C.

Fort Belvoir, Va. (June 12, 2014) - Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 165th Quartermaster Group, retired its colors to the Center of Military History in Washington, D.C., following a casing of the colors deactivation ceremony, Saturday, at the U.S. Army Reserve Center.

"As we close the book on another chapter of the 165th Quartermasters Group, let us pause and celebrate the accomplishments of the Soldiers, past and present, who have come before us," said Brig. Gen. Michael Dillard, Commanding General 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

The 165th was activated Sept. 16, 2006, at Fort Belvoir. The deactivation is the latest development in the group's 70-year history that began June 15, 1944 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 541st Quartermasters Group.

Quartermasters are in charge of providing supplies and provisions to troops.

Col. John W. Simma Jr., 165th Quartermaster Group commander, said the unit has a proud history.

"The 165th has made its mark in history, going back to WWII," Simma said, adding that it was a historic day for the Quartermaster Group to be deactivated on the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

Command Sgt. Maj. Orlando Santiago said the deactivation is part of Army restructuring, but the Quartermasters could once again be activated in the future as conditions change.

"This is probably one of the best quartermaster groups in the Army Reserve," he said.

During the rare deactivation ceremony, the group's colors are removed from the color bearer's sling. The official retirement order is read, and the command sergeant major (Santiago), presents the colors to the commander (Simma). The colors are grasped by the commander and the command sergeant major. The commander rotates and lowers the colors, allowing the command sergeant major to furl the colors in a protective black sheath. The colors are returned to the color bearer, who marches them off the field to signify the formal end of the command.
The colors are then brought to the Center of Military History in Washington, D.C.

All Soldiers within the Fort Belvoir group have been transferred to other units. Santiago said his Soldiers have found new positions with the 55th Sustainment Brigade, 78th Training Division, 104th Training Brigade and 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

"They all found homes," Santiago said of the Soldiers.

Santiago said he's extremely proud of the Soldiers in the group, and called them the most proficient, professional Soldiers he has worked with.

"The 165th Quartermaster Group led the way," he said. "My tenure here since 2010 has been great, and we couldn't have done it without the great Soldiers. It's been a great journey."

Dillard told the Soldiers to remember what they learned at Fort Belvoir as they move forward in their Army careers.

"Continue to carry with you, our honored values," he said.

Simma, who took command of the group in March, 2013, said the Colors may be retired, but the Quartermaster Group will be ready to reactivate should they be needed in the future.

The Saxophone Quartet of the Army Field Band performed during the ceremony. A reception followed the formal event.

The 165th Quartermasters last deployed in 2008 to synchronize the receipt, storage and surface distribution of bulk petroleum in support of joint coalition forces throughout the U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility.

Page last updated Wed June 11th, 2014 at 15:21