U.S. Army Reserve Col. Sue Henderson was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony held in the Seay Auditorium of U.S. Transportation Command headquarters Nov. 4.
Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Ryan, commanding general of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, officiated the ceremony.
"I only met Sue for the first time about an hour ago," admitted Ryan as he began his remarks.
U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon was originally scheduled to officiate Henderson's promotion ceremony, but when travel plans fell through on morning of the event Ryan was asked to fill-in. Lennon serves as the deputy commanding general (support) for the U.S. Army Reserves.
Ryan told Henderson that promotion to general officer rank is "a very big deal," adding "You only promote to general one time, but you'll be referred to as 'General' for the rest of your life."
Henderson currently serves as the deputy commanding general of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, an Army Reserve unit headquartered in Los Alamitos, California. In her civilian capacity, she works as a systems engineer government contractor for the MITRE Corporation located just outside the Scott Air Force Base gate.
Many members of Henderson's family joined her for the ceremony including her husband Bill, daughters Savannah and Sydney, parents Al and Helen DeCoste, and siblings David DeCoste and Debbie Grady. Also on-hand were Bill's parents, numerous other relatives and members of Henderson's previous units.
Henderson offered credit to her family, military and civilian coworkers, and friends for her success. "I am here today because each of you had an impact on my life," she said.
Included within Henderson's ceremony were a few special presentations specific to attaining general officer rank. In addition to receiving her general officer flag, Henderson was also presented with her general officer belt and sidearm.
Following the promotion, Ryan administered the oath of office to Henderson to reaffirm her commitment to service.
Henderson says she feels very fortunate to be recognized for her efforts and is ready to assume the increased responsibility that comes with wearing general's stars.
"With your continued support," said Henderson, "I'm going to make a difference in this Army!"