USAG DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - The 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command held a change of command ceremony to honor its outgoing commanding general, Maj Gen. John P. Sullivan, and incoming commanding general, Brig. Gen. Michel M. Russell Sr. Sept. 22, at Camp Walker's Kelly Field, Daegu, Korea.
U.S. Soldiers stood alongside Korean Augmentees to the United States Army, members of the Korean Service Corps, Daegu community leaders, family members, friends and many area IV personnel as Sullivan and Russell exchanged unit colors, with the Eighth United States Army commanding general, Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal officiating the exchange and who was also the host of the ceremony.
Since June of 2015, Sullivan had served as the 19th ESC's commanding general. During his tenure, he successfully led many joint level exercises, the latest one being Operation Pacific Reach, which was held in Pohang from February to May and which involved various sustainment mission sets such as Combined/Joint Logistics Over the Shore and Inland Petroleum Distribution System. In addition, he also led numerous Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration Rehearsal of Concept Drills and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations to prepare Team 19 to fully be able to sustain the fight-tonight readiness.
"I am, above all else, extremely grateful. Grateful for having had the opportunity to lead the phenomenal Soldiers and Civilians in Team 19 for over two years," said Sullivan during his remarks.
The ceremony started with the formation of troops led by Col. Patrick K. Curran, Chief of Staff, 19th ESC. The formation consisted of commanders from Materiel Support Command - Korea, 6th Ordnance Battalion, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 25th Transportation Battalion, and 94th Military Police Battalion and their unit colors.
Immediately following the ceremonial firing of canons, Sullivan was presented with a ceremonial artillery shell casing from the last round fired as a memento by the battery commander on behalf of the command.
"When I stood on this parade field as a company commander in 1993, during the ceremony in which then-Brig. Gen. Dan Brown assumed command of this proud unit, I never, in my wildest imagination, thought that I would have the privilege of someday leading this incredible team," mentioned Sullivan during the ceremony.
Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, 8th Army Commanding General, Sullivan, and Russell marched towards the center of the formation to conduct the passing of the 19th ESC unit colors during the ceremony.
Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice V. Chaplin, Command Sergeant Major of the 19th ESC, first passed the colors to Sullivan who then passed them to Vandal, signifying the relinquishment of command and gratitude for the support and opportunity to serve, then Vandal passed the colors to Russell, representing the assumption of command and the trust in the new commander's leadership and finally, Russell passed the colors back to Chaplin representing his first action in command and signifies his confidence that the Noncommissioned officer Corps will continue to dress on the colors.
"The accomplishments that Team 19 has achieved in the last two plus years of Maj. Gen. Sullivan's command tenure is nothing short of spectacular," said Vandal during his remarks. "He has been an incredibly influential leader during his time here; mentoring superiors and subordinates on the nuances of logistics, always with a sense of teamwork that is the hallmark of the 19th ESC."
The 19th ESC is the logistics support arm of 8th Army with the mission of sustaining combat power throughout the Korean peninsula. It's headquarters are on Camp Henry in Daegu, with subordinate commands located in each of the Army's four areas of operation on the peninsula.
For his next assignment, Sullivan will head off to the Pentagon, Washington D.C. as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, Department of the Army.
As the ceremony and another chapter of Team 19's history came to a close, the commander of troops for the event, Curran led the formation in singing the 8th Army song and the Army song. The keeper of the colors, 19th ESC's senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Major Maurice V. Chaplin, then retired the colors, marching the units of the parade field marking the beginning of its new chapter.