Sgt. Major of the Army speaks at 21st TSC wreath laying, retreat ceremony
November 9, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The Soldiers and Civilians of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command welcomed a special guest Nov. 4 as they paid tribute to the 21st TSC's fallen warriors with a wreath laying and retreat ceremony on Panzer Kaserne here.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, the highest ranking enlisted Soldier in the Army, was the guest speaker and also took part in the ceremony, which was attended by more than 300 Soldiers and Civilians.
"He is a leader who visited the warriors of 21st TSC multiple times just to be sure they were well trained. I couldn't think of a better leader in the Army or the Department of Defense to speak to us today about our fallen," said Command Sgt. Maj. James Spencer, the command sergeant major of the 21st TSC.
While addressing the Soldiers at the ceremony, Preston spoke about deployments and thanked all the Soldiers who had been deployed. He spoke about the sacrifices the Soldiers made while fighting for the U.S. and the 21st TSC's role in the ongoing war on terrorism.
"Our Army would not be able to fight and win our nations wars without the 21st TSC and all of its subordinate units," said Preston. "At the end of the year, the 21st TSC will have conducted 25
operations in 13 countries with almost 2,000 Soldiers and Civilians."
"21st TSC units are forward deployed in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq and continue to do a superb job providing explosive ordnance disposal, maintenance, military police and hundreds of other missions tasked to the command," Preston said.
Following the sergeant major of the Army's speech, Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuiston, the commanding general of the 21st TSC, Preston and Spencer laid a wreath at the 21st TSC's Fallen Soldiers Memorial to honor the 21st TSC warriors who lost their lives while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The names of three 21st TSC Soldiers, who died in the past year supporting OEF, were added to the memorial, which already lists the names of 18 other fallen warriors from the 21st TSC. The three names added were Staff Sgt. James Ide V who was assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade, Staff Sgt. Derek Farley and Staff Sgt. Anton Phillips who were both assigned to the 16th Sustainment Brigade.
After the ceremony, Preston took time to recognize various Soldiers for their hard work as he presented them with sergeant major of the Army coins.
The day spent with the 21st TSC was a part of what is scheduled to be Preston's final visit to U.S. Army Europe as the sergeant major of the Army.
During his visit to the 21st TSC, the sergeant major of the Army also participated in an office call with McQuiston and Spencer and attended the re-enlistment ceremony of a Warrior Transition Unit Soldier.
"It's an honor to speak at an event that honors those who sacrificed so much for our country. America owes each of our fallen and wounded warriors a debt of gratitude for their bravery, commitment and their selfless sacrifice," said Preston.