Remembrance Ceremony Celebrates Life of former CASCOM Officer
February 27, 2012
FORT LEE, Va. -- Hundreds gathered today at Memorial Chapel as the Combined Arms Support Command held a remembrance ceremony to celebrate the life of Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, the former commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Fort Hood, Texas. From July 2007 to 2010, he served at Fort Lee, where he commanded the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade, Quartermaster School, and then served as the CASCOM G3/director, Training and Doctrine.
Three speakers paid tribute to Hildner, who died Feb. 3 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of apparent natural causes: Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the 51st Quartermaster General and commandant of the Quartermaster School; Chaplain (Maj.) Jack E. Dixon, 49th Quartermaster Group; and James L. Berg, CASCOM deputy G3/Training and Doctrine.
In her remarks, Bingham recalled Hildner as a passionate, caring and dedicated leader.
"He was truly one of the finest men I've ever had the privilege to come to know," she said. "Terry threw his passion into everything he did…We can all feel incredibly blessed for having known this giant of a man, who died doing what he loved -- leading Soldiers."
Bingham knew Hildner and his Family for a number of years and through a variety of assignments.
"I met Terry and his wife, Cindy, in the summer of 2007, when he assumed command of 23rd Quartermaster Brigade," she said. "I'll never forget his high energy, vivacious smile and warm temperament. I was the garrison commander at the time. I affectionately called him my 'battle buddy.' Because together, we would work through a myriad of BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure] issues dealing with construction, Soldiers, barracks and Family quality of life."
Dixon, who previously served as the brigade chaplain, remembered Hildner as one of the finest officers he had served with and shared several stories with those in attendance. He spoke of his constant focus on supporting Soldiers and ensuring training was realistic to help prepare them for the missions that lay ahead.
In recounting a few of his achievements here, Bingham spoke of how a capstone exercise was integrated for Advanced Individual Training Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and Basic Officer Leader Course students that was widely hailed as the best in the Training and Doctrine Command.
"He also developed an 'at risk' identification program that successfully recognized Soldiers suffering from significant issues," she said.
After completing his brigade command, Hildner became the CASCOM G3 and director of Training and Doctrine. In this role, he continued to provide "inspiring leadership, infectious energy and enthusiasm for training and taking care of Soldiers, leaders and Families," Bingham said.
Echoing her sentiments, his former deputy Berg said Hildner loved people and saw nothing but the positive in every person he met.
"He was a demanding leader, while simultaneously being a very encouraging boss to all who worked for him," Berg said. "He took pure joy in watching others succeed around him. In fact, I believe it was the fuel that kept him going. He was a team builder and ensured all were treated as a vital part of the team."
Berg said that his "greatest attributes were passion, compassion and his ability to provide clear guidance, motivation and direction." To not only the members of his staff but also to the many colleges and friends who would seek his advice.
"He would work relentless hours and no matter how busy, or how short the suspense was, he always had time for anyone who stopped by his office," Berg said. "I remember him turning in his chair, stopping everything he was doing, and giving you his undivided attention. In most cases, he would get up from his chair and walk over to sit with the person visiting."
Before the 392nd Army Band played taps, Bingham shared a few words of inspiration from Psalm 91, the Soldier's Psalm, and one final note of farewell.
"We salute you Brig. Gen. Terry Hildner for your superior leadership," she said in conclusion. "Your mission is complete. We've got the helm now. Rest in peace, my dear brother and comrade…Rest in peace."
The funeral service will be held at 8:45 a.m. Feb. 29 at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel, Arlington National Cemetery.