Sustainer leadership sustaining momentum
June 4, 2009
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - The company commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), handed over the reins of leadership during a ceremony here May 22.
Capt. Brian W. Pilch assumed command from Capt. Brian D. Costa, HHC's company commander since May 2007.
"It's somebody else's turn to experience what I've experienced so they can become a better officer," said Costa, of Norwell, Mass. "(Pilch) is going to be fantastic. He's got the right attitude."
Costa said HHC is a little different from a typical line company. Costa and 1st Sgt. Jeffery W. Burnsworth watched the unit grow from 23 Soldiers to over 400 Soldiers, Airmen, and National Guardsmen, almost the size of a battalion.
Another big difference is that the unit is composed almost entirely of officers and senior noncommissioned officers, and the average service time is 15-16 years, Costa said.
Although one of the junior-ranking officers, Costa said he was the one with command authority at the company level. This gave him the unique opportunity of being even a one-star general's company commander, referring to Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lally, commanding officer, 3d ESC.
"Will I ever tell him what to do' No. Will I sign his leave form' Yes," Costa said with a smile.
Burnsworth, the company first sergeant, admitted HHC's role is largely administrative, but necessary to support the 3d ESC's mission. The 3d ESC provides single headquarters command and control for operational level sustainment and distribution management in support of Multi-National Corps-Iraq.
"I think what we do here at the HHC enables them to do their mission to support the other Soldiers out there," Burnsworth said.
Costa and Burnsworth work with senior staffers to coordinate when to do training so it doesn't affect their primary mission. Even senior officers are required to do basic Soldiering tasks and training, such as doing a physical fitness test or going to a range to qualify on weapons systems.
"It's going to be hard to let go," Costa said, referring to the change of command. "I'm excited and ready to move on, but at the same time it's been such an honor to be (HHC's) commander."
In his speech after assuming command, Pilch said he looked forward to working with and for the Soldiers of HHC.
Costa will continue his service with the 3d ESC as a plans and operations officer until the unit redeploys to Fort Knox, Ky.