QM Corps honors 'giant of a man' with a lasting, rooted tribute
June 15, 2012
FORT LEE, Va. -- Known for being strong and reliable, the dogwood tree, now planted near the headquarters of the Combined Arms Support Command, is a lasting tribute to an Army leader known for the same qualities.
The tree was planted in memory of Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, former commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Fort Hood, Texas, who died Feb. 3 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of natural causes. The Quartermaster Corps held a dedication ceremony near the tree to honor the former 23rd QM Brigade commander on the Army's 237 birthday Thursday.
"Just like the roots of a tree, which provide the plant with the nourishment it needs to grow, become strong, and survive, Terry became one of the quartermaster and Army roots," said Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, QM General and QM School commandant, during the ceremony. "Just like the branches and leaves of a tree that provide protection and comfort to many living things, regardless of the circumstances, Terry had the natural ability to do the same."
Hildner served 28 years in the U.S. Army, eight of those years in command positions.
Reflecting upon his remarkable service to the nation, it's understandable that he was considered a giant of a man, with a kind soul, who truly cared about all he met, said Bingham.
During the ceremony Hildner's widow, Cindy, and one of his children, Jonathan, along with Bingham and Command Sgt. Maj. James K. Sims, QM Corps' top noncommissioned officer, unveiled a marker near the tree.
The marker, which is made of granite, stands as a steadfast reminder of Hildner's selfless service and dedication.
"Brig. Gen. Hildner was truly a warfighter's logistician and sustainer. He was a visionary, who was renowned for his belief in the importance of training," said the 51st QM General.
While commanding the 23rd QM BDE, Hildner implemented the warrior field training exercise, which was the parent of the Sustainment Warrior Field Training Exercise that is the culminating event where Soldiers practice all that they have learned.
"Terry always ensured that everyone was trained and ready to add value to the next unit or next mission," said Bingham.
Following his brigade command, Hildner continued his focus on training while serving as CASCOM's G3/director, Training and Doctrine.
He was a leader of Soldiers and Civilians who truly loved being a Soldier, a leader and a statesman, said Bingham.
"While we feel a void with Terry no longer physically with us, we know that Terry's love of his family and his legacy will continually live through all of us," said Bingham. "As service members, I believe that we can best honor Terry through our love of country; our love of each other; and our sense of duty in striving to be the best officer, NCO, warrior or Civilian that we can possible be."
In addition to Cindy and Jonathan, Hildner is survived by his parents, Robert and Susan Hildner, and children, Ryan, Julie and Brittany.