By Ms. Cherish Washington (AMC)January 7, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command hosted an award ceremony in honor of Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, deputy chief of staff, Jan. 7 at the headquarters.
Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, hosted the ceremony in the Villar conference room, which was filled to capacity with friends, family and colleagues.
"Today, we pause and pay tribute to a great Soldier," said Via. "The chief of staff position is a unique one. They are not in command of anything but responsible for everything."
Via analogized the position to that of a quarterback of a football team -- gathering guidance from all the coaches and executing plays.
"It's the chief of staff that pulls it all together for the headquarters," Via said.
Williams served as the deputy chief of staff of AMC for approximately 16 months. Via also referenced the obstacles that Williams faced in his role, such as leading a staff supporting two wars, budget restraints, sequestration and a government shutdown.
And despite these challenges, Williams excelled, said Via.
"He was the architect of AMC's top five priorities. He established achievable goals and fostered a communication between commands and staffs," he said, naming a few of Williams' accomplishments.
Williams also spearheaded the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program for AMC, for which Via stated inspired a cultural change in AMC due in part to his personal leadership and hard work.
"It's for these accomplishments and more that we present the Distinguished Service Medal," said Via. "And I want to personally thank you for doing a tremendous job here. You absolutely made a difference and know that AMC will always be right there with you."
Via predicted that he'd see many more ceremonies like this in Williams' future. Williams is transitioning to command the 1st Theater Sustainment Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"The Army has made the right decision to give command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command to Maj. Gen. Williams," Via said.
The 1st TSC is responsible for supporting operations throughout the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility by planning, preparing and executing operational sustainment support, conducting Coalition/Joint Reception, Staging and Onward Movement (C/JRSO), redeployment, and re-posture of forces.
Williams left the command with a list of thank you's and a few things he learned or reaffirmed during his tenure at AMC, such as the sheer impact of the materiel enterprise. His time here reaffirmed how large of a role AMC has in logistics, the patriotism of the civilian workforce and the value of taking care of people.
"It's really is about taking care of your people first and the mission will happen -- the reverse is not necessarily true," said Williams.
He also reaffirmed that no matter the level you serve, what AMC does is just as important as what is done on the tactical level.
"Everything we do impacts the Soldier," said Williams. "My association with you [the AMC staff] has made me a better officer, leader, and a more competent logistician and a better man."