13th ESC Celebrates its 51st Birthday

By Sgt. 1st Class Michael CoxSeptember 26, 2016

13th ESC Celebrates its 51st Birthday
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13th ESC Celebrates its 51st Birthday
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13th ESC Celebrates its 51st Birthday
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13th ESC Celebrates its 51st Birthday
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Community Partners Luke Potts, Nicole Stairs, Ed Bandas and Judy Garrett from the Belton Chamber of Commerce prepare to warm up and fall-in with the headquarters of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Birthday Family Fun Run. Community partne... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Capt. Leslie McCampbell, executive officer with 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, ran the half marathon in one hour and 18 minutes and was the winner of the male category and Staff Sgt. Camille McCue, with the 69th ADA, finished the half marathon in one hour and 50 minutes coming in first in the female category. Both runners are on the III Corps Army Ten-Miler team.

On Tuesday the festivities continued with a family fun run. Close to 200 Soldiers, family members, community partners from Temple and Belton along with some pets gathered together for a two mile run from the 13th ESC headquarters and ran to III Corps headquarters and back as noncommissioned officers shouted cadence keeping the formation in step. The event ended with Col. Douglas McBride Jr., commander of the 13th ESC, leading a mass push-up session.

Nicole Stairs from the Belton Chamber of Commerce said, "It was amazing to hear the silent reverence when the flag was raised. Soldiers all, no matter the rank, watched with admiration in their eyes. As a civilian it is a truly humbling experience to step into this world, even for a brief moment. To be lead, and cheered on during the run was purely uplifting. I believe the pride of the US Army can be found right here in Fort Hood, Texas."

The festivities continued the next day with the annual Brig. Gen. Terry Hildner Memorial Golf Tournament at Clear Creek golf course on Fort Hood. Brig. Gen Hildner died in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2012, and is the second highest-ranking American to die in the Afghan war. Brig. Gen. Hildner was the commander of the 13th ESC from 2010 until his death.

After the golf tournament, the 13th COSCOM Association held its birthday dinner at the Wildflower County Club in Temple, Texas to continue strengthening the relationships between the active Soldiers, community partners, and alumni members and to induct a new member into the hall of fame.

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Lenaers was inducted into the 13th COSCOM Hall of Fame by the Colonel of the Regiment, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Terry. Lenaers is a former commander of the 13th ESC and deployed the ESC's first Soldiers to Operation Iraq Freedom in 2003. He spent more than nine years in command as a general officer. During his acceptance speech, Lenaers recognized the service and sacrifice of the Soldiers and said, "We are inducted because of how we represent our Soldiers."

The evening's keynote speaker was Col. (Ret.) Knowles Atchison. He spoke about the ever-present change in the Army and the nature of leadership required to manage that change. He said, "Leadership is a people business. You drive animals and you lead people."

Several members form the Belton and Temple Chambers of Commerce shared the evening as well. Nicole Stairs said, "The Belton Chamber is honored to play a role in the success of the 13th COSCOM. We have a long standing history of military pride and will always be present to maintain these strong relationships."

The final event of the birthday celebration paid honor and tribute to those who fell while serving with the 13 ESC. On Friday the unit held a memorial rededication remembering Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Col. McBride said, "Today, we come together for a more solemn occasion; to honor the one-hundred-and-eleven Soldiers and Airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving with the 13th ESC since September 11th, 2001 and rededicate this memorial to our past."

This year was especially significant because a new name was added to the wall. Spc. Richard A. Goward was a reservist with the 1460th Transportation Battalion out of Midland, Michigan. Spc. Goward died on April 14, 2003 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Col. McBride and the 13th ESC Command Sgt, Maj. Marco Torres laid a wreath as a rededication to all fallen Soldiers.

McBride added, "This memorial does more than just remember our past. It guides our future. Every one of these names reminds us of the importance and earnestness of our mission."

The ceremony was followed by a cake cutting allowing time for the 13th ESC, family members and community partners to look back on a rich historical past and look forward to a future full of great accomplishments and the 13th ESC's 52nd birthday.