ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- At a change of command ceremony held here August 11, Maj. Gen. Edward M. Daly became commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.
The ceremony also marked the retirement from the Army of Maj. Gen. Kevin G. O'Connell, who turned over command of ASC to Daly.
As commanding general, Daly will lead an organization of about 40,000 Soldiers, civilians and contractor employees with a global mission of logistical support, symbolized by the commanders, top non-commissioned officers and unit flags of the ASC's subordinate units standing on the parade field during the ceremony.
Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, presided at the ceremony. AMC is a subordinate of AMC, and Via remarked that the command played a critical role in AMC's global enterprise.
"The commanders standing on this field today lead units that directly enhance the readiness of combat units worldwide," Via said. "AMC couldn't operate effectively without them."
Via praised O'Connell for his leadership of ASC over the past two years and his accomplishments while serving in uniform.
"When we reflect on Kevin O'Connell's distinguished 34-year career, the word 'remarkable' might be an understatement," Via said.
Via stated that O'Connell was sworn in as a second lieutenant at the height of the Cold War, and went on to serve in assignments at most major installations in the United States, along with deployments to Bosnia and Iraq.
"In 2007, during the surge in Iraq, General O'Connell commanded the 1st Theater Sustainment Brigade, a unit that had a 'no-fail mission' of supporting about 130,000 U.S. and coalition troops," Via said. "His leadership assured that those troops were well-supplied and capable of winning on the battlefield."
O'Connell came to ASC in August 2014, Via said, at a time of high operational tempo and ongoing change.
"He arrived here with a wealth of institutional knowledge, and he led this command during an unprecedented transfer in structure and function," Via said. He singled out O'Connell's performance during a retrograde mission that was the Army's largest to date, and that resulted in a cost avoidance of nearly $1 billion.
Via then praised Daly as an "excellent officer" with all the qualifications needed to serve as ASC's commanding general.
"Ed Daly has a well-deserved reputation for determination and excellence," Via said. "He's led at the strategic and tactical levels, he knows about complex global organizations, and he knows how to successfully lead those organizations."
In his remarks, O'Connell praised the people of ASC for their professionalism and dedication, and also thanked Rock Island Arsenal and the surrounding Quad Cities community.
"Rock Island Arsenal is a special place that truly is a national treasure," O'Connell said. "Because of the outstanding garrison staff here, this arsenal is the best place to live, work and play in the Army."
"Just as Rock Island Arsenal has served our nation for over 150 years," O'Connell added, "the Quad Cities community has served and supported the arsenal. The people here are patriotic and friendly, and are always there to help when you need it."
O'Connell noted that the Army had offered him numerous opportunities and allowed him to form many lasting friendships, adding that he had traveled to 45 countries during his career and met a number of domestic and foreign leaders and dignitaries.
"But this biggest opportunity this Army gave me is the privilege of serving this nation, and of meeting so many hard-working, dedicated people," he said.
O'Connell credited his family for their support during his career, noting the many accomplishments of his in-laws and his siblings.
"My family provided me with the inspiration that you really could do anything you want to do," he said.
O'Connell then singled out his wife, Etie, noting that they had been together ever since he was a basketball player in high school and she was a pom-pom girl.
"I don't think there is any other profession where we ask so much of spouses," O'Connell said, "and Etie is truly the epitome of what it means to be a military spouse."
Serving the Army reinforced his pride and patriotism, O'Connell said, recalling the times he stood for the National Anthem as a high school basketball player.
"I truly believe that America is the best nation in the world," O'Connell said, "and I believe that's reflected in the Army team -- a team that comes together every day to perform the mission of defending freedom."
Daly began his remarks by stating he was excited to take on his new assignment and grateful for the hospitality shown to him and his family by the arsenal and the Quad Cities community.
"This installation is steeped in lineage and history," he said, "and the command which I am privileged to lead is critical to supporting our nation's joint forces.
"I am humbled to take on this assignment," Daly continued, "and I fully understand the responsibility that comes with this position."
Daly pledged to continue to strengthen relations with the community and to enhancing the arsenal's overall reputation of excellence. In addition to serving as ASC's commanding general, Daly is also designated as senior mission commander of Rock Island Arsenal.
"I am proud to part of this tremendous organization," Daly concluded, "and I look forward to working with you as we perform our mission together."
Daly comes to ASC from AMC Headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he served as deputy chief of staff. He was commissioned as an officer in 1987, following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Daly's past assignments include serving as chief of Ordnance and commandant of the U.S. Army Ordnance School. He deployed to Southwest Asia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and later served combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Along with a degree in engineering earned at West Point, Daly holds masters degrees in business administration from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of three children.