COLUMBIA, South Carolina. -- Soldiers, civilians and guests of the 81st Regional Support Command bid farewell to its commander, Maj. Gen. Gill Beck, as he relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Janet Cobb, during a Change of Command ceremony held at the 81st RSC headquarters Nov. 2.
In an event described by many attendees as a "who's who of the Army Reserve," Beck relinquished command after serving as the Wildcat's commander for three years. Sunday's event also marked the end of his military career after 36 years of service.
"A great commander is one who mentors, coaches and teaches," said Deputy Commanding General (Support), United States Army Reserve, Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon describing the departing leader's style.
Maj. Gen. Beck thanked the many guests who attended the ceremony for their support or mentorship throughout his tenure as commander and his military career. He paid special tribute to his wife by inviting her to renew their vows in front of the crowd.
"I can never repay my wife for the role she has had to fill while I have had to be away from home over the years performing my duty to the Army, but as she has asked me to 'I will just try," Beck quipped.
Throughout history a military unit's colors has been a symbol of the commander on the battlefield. They represented heritage, history, loyalty and unity of Soldiers. During a Change of Command ceremony, those colors are passed from the senior noncomissioned officer to the outgoing commander to the incoming commander as a symbol of the transfer of authority and responsibility to the new commander.
"Gill Beck as you close your three and a half decades of service to your army and to your nation your name is associated with professionalism, leadership, mission accomplishment and most important wisdom, justice, mercy and kindness," said Cobb. "Your shoes I cannot fill, but with your continued friendship and guidance I'll try to continue your legacy -- to take care of Soldiers, civilians and families and exceed standards."
Maj. Gen. Cobb joins the 81st RSC from her last assignment as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Mobilization and Training (IMA), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G4 (Washington, D.C.). Her past assignments include battalion commander of the 1184th Transportation Terminal Battalion which operated the Port of Ash Shuaybah, Kuwait from November of 2002 through May of 2003. She also held joint assignments including Director, Central Command Deployment and Distribution Operations Center (Camp Arifjan, Kuwait) and Commander, 598th Transportation Group (Terminal)(Rotterdam, the Netherlands).
Maj. Gen Cobb was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but as a child traveled the nation as a Coast Guard dependant. She has served in the Army for 40 years, and this assignment makes here the first female commander in 81st Wildcat history. She is a licensed realtor and works in the Property Management Division of Kaiser Realty, Inc. in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
"I am thrilled to once again wear the Wildcat patch," said Cobb. "We have a fantastic team of professionals here at the 81st RSC, and I look forward to serving with them."
The 81st Wildcat staff consists of over 1200 personnel to include Department of Army and Army Reserve Soldiers. The 81st RSC supports over 53,000 Army Reserve Soldiers and civilian in over 275 Army Reserve Facilities in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.