By Sgt. Devin WoodJune 12, 2017
The 377th Theater Sustainment Command bid farewell to its commanding general during a relinquishment of command ceremony followed by a retirement ceremony at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans Jun. 10.
Maj. Gen. Les J. Carroll completes his tenure as commanding general of the 377th TSC after taking command in August 2014. 377th TSC Deputy Commanding General Norman B. Green will assume responsibilities after Carroll's official retirement July 1st, until a new commanding general is announced.
The 377th TSC is the Army Reserve's largest operational command with more than 35,000 Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians. It has command and control of more than more than 400 units across 35 states. In addition to its command role, the 377th TSC is aligned with U.S. Southern Command, which oversees U.S. military interests in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Carroll's father, Cleo, a World War II Veteran was in the crowd to witness the culmination of his son's military career.
"There's a lot of pride when you're sitting there," said Cleo Carroll. "Because I know that he earned all of it. His talents, abilities and leadership got him here."
Carroll said that it was his father's generation that inspired him to serve in the first place.
"My father was a seabee in the Navy, one of his brothers was one of the original frogmen and his other brother was 22 years in the Air Force. They were heroes of mine," said Carroll. "That's where I learned about patriotism and that there was a cost for freedom, someone had to be called to pay that cost."
To Carroll, his legacy and credentials are represented by the success of the Soldiers he has commanded.
"I care about Soldiers, not just in the normal things you do to take care of Soldiers but I cared for them by making sure they got the best possible training. A leader's responsibility is to train their Soldiers to win in combat," said Carroll.
"To have him here sort of ties my whole life together," said Carroll of his 90-year-old father. "From my earliest memories of he and his brothers, to have him living and able to be here to see me retire from the military has been an inspiration."
Maj. General David J. Conboy, Deputy Commanding General (Operations), U.S Army Reserve Command, presided over the relinquishment ceremony, which had more than 250 in attendance.
"Over the last three years General Carroll has done a phenomenal job leading this tremendous organization," said Conboy. "He has done a great job on individual readiness, which is where it all starts... making sure we are deployable to fight the away game and accomplish the mission."
Carroll put a lot of emphasis on leadership development, regularly holding round table meetings with down trace commanders and encouraging them to take initiative in accomplishing the mission.
"I tell my junior officers and non commissioned officers all the time, use the authority that the constitution gives you to lead," said Carroll. "So many are timid and afraid to make decisions... a phrase I use a lot is 'lead dammit.'"
Carroll is retiring after 39 years of service and looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren and embracing his new title of "Papa".
"Sweetheart, we said we were going to retire at Lieutenant Colonel," said Carroll. "As I was sitting there it occurred to me that this is our third command since then. I promise it's our last."