By CourtesyNovember 9, 2017
By Alexia Gardner
November 1st may seem like any other day out of the year, but to the 175th Financial Management Support Center, it marks the beginning of their legacy of supporting the U.S. Army dating back to 1944.
This year marks the second in which the unit has celebrated their history of providing financial support to Soldiers in the Pacific area of responsibility. Led by unit director, Col. Nicholas LaSala and Sergeant Maj. Austin McLaughlin, senior enlisted leader, were pleased with what their subordinates were able to accomplish.
"They greatly exceeded our expectations," LaSala said. "There is no way I could have given the specific sort of detail you see around the building today."
One of the Soldiers that helped make the unit celebration happen was the unit historian, 2nd Lt. Micae Bondurant. Though Bondurant is assigned as the unit historian because she was the newest officer, she has given her all to ensure the history was highlighted.
"If I see that we're doing something similar to anything we've done in the past, I'm going to be able to put the lessons learned into the situation," Bondurant said.
Throughout the ceremony, the 175th FMSC represented the time periods of the various conflicts the unit supported by having Soldiers dressed in the U.S. Army uniform of that time. The conflicts represented were World War II, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the Global War on Terror.
"I think it's very significant, very important. Not only my role, but all of us, who represented a different time period of 175th FMSC and the U.S. Army," said Spc. Neelesh Jain. "This is the unit's history celebration day, the time period represented was a part of that history, and essentially that is what makes up the history."
The celebration concluded with a guided tour by Bondurant and 1st Lt. Luserito Quisido. Throughout the tour, the two explained the history of the U.S. Army, Fort Shafter, and 175th FMSC.
"I actually have briefing materials and different documentation from WWII and Vietnam that I memorized so that I could guide people around the building," Bondurant said.
In order to make the celebration happen, the unit's personnel worked together to produce a product they would be proud to present. LaSala felt that was another important factor in making the day happen.
"They came together as a solid team to create this amazing unit day. This is an example of the type of things that happens in this unit every day," LaSala said. "That's how cohesive this unit is."
A huge amount of planning went into making sure the unit celebration was a success. From LaSala and McLaughlin sharing their vision and guidance, to the rehearsals to make sure every detail was perfect.
Although the unit history day is a part of U.S. Army regulations, 175th FMSC's unit celebration was the first time most Soldiers heard of this type of celebration. With the celebration, the unit's leadership felt it was important for Soldiers to know where they came from in order to make them feel a part of something bigger.
"You can't do anything without money, yet we are such a small part of the Army," Quisido said. "I think it's important for the Soldiers to have pride within themselves, along with their unit and job."
In LaSala's speech, he mentioned how proud he was of his unit and their accomplishments. He gave all the credit for the successful unit celebration to the Soldiers, NCOs and officers of his unit, claiming he only gave "guidance and vision." He also stressed the importance of knowing your unit's history.
"We carry on the collective wisdom of our profession from those who served before us. Therefore, it is important we understand and teach our subordinates the unit's history so that we can pass on that wisdom in a way that is real to them," LaSala said.