16th Quartermaster Company closes shop
September 14, 2012
By Amy Perry
FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 13, 2012) -- Another unit of the 49th Quartermaster Group was inactivated here Friday during a ceremony at the Post Field House.
Capt. Nicholas Poppen and 1st Sgt. Tavares Burton, the command team of the 16th QM Company, previously part of the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, furled its flag for the last time.
It is not uncommon for the Army to go through a period of change after years of conflict, said Lt. Col. Austin Elliot, 530th CSSB commander, who oversaw the ceremony.
"The 16th itself is no stranger to change, having gone through many transitions since its activation in 1961 as the Army's last labor service company, as it was at the time," said Elliot. "Over the years, the 16th also transformed from a legacy service company -- providing shower, laundry, textile renovations, graves registration and bakery support -- to a modern day shower, laundry and clothing repair company."
The unit has deployed many times in its more than 50 years of service, including Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Restore Hope and Iraqi Freedom I and III. Throughout the years, its primary mission changed many times, said Elliot.
"What has not changed is the 16th's outstanding tradition of service," he said. "This inactivation is not a reflection of the 16th Quartermaster Company's performance; it is merely a sign of the times.
"Soldiers of the 16th -- past and present -- be proud of your accomplishments and as you go out and serve in other units, remember the legacy you represent," continued Elliot.
Poppen -- the unit's commander -- thanked his Soldiers and the 49th QM Group for their support while he commanded the 16th QM Co. He also said he appreciated serving a unit with a rich history.
"With the inactivation of this company comes the inactivation of a legacy," Poppen said. "The 16th Quartermaster Company has participated in peacetime and wartime missions for more than five decades.
"I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to lead such great Soldiers," he continued.
The 49th QM Group inactivated Sept. 14 as part of an Army plan to reshape the structure of the force and increase mobility and sustainability.