By Maj. Lindsey ElderJune 8, 2018
More than 800 members of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command came together on June 6 to be photographed as part of a "living insignia," or human re-creation of the subdued patch worn by those in the unit, celebrating it's 50th birthday this year.
The coming together of various units under the command was not only a unique esprit de corps event, it was also to educate others about the significant contributions and sacrifices Americans made during WWI.
The U.S. Army's 100-year involvement in WWI was a catalyst to the Army becoming the world's most lethal, adaptive, and competent land force in history.
During World War I, these military formations came to serve as rallying points to support American involvement in the war and to ward off isolationist tendencies. Known as Living Insignia, portraits or photos, some formations took tens of thousands of service members and installation support staff to create.
The 8th TSC's version took months of planning and needed to adhere the busy operational tempo of the unit. The formation included personnel from the 130th Engineer Brigade and the 8th Military Police Brigade - the only engineer and military police brigade supporting the 9,000 mile-wide Indo-Pacific region. Other organizations included the 8th Special Troops Battalion and the 175th Financial Management Support Center.
With the support of Technical Engineers from the 130th Engineer Brigade Technical Headquarters Section and S7, the plan accounted for the right coverage from 33 feet above the formation and spanned 2,000 square feet. This is the first such formation in the unit's history and offered a unique training opportunity for the surveyors under the project technical lead, Spc. Destiny Meyers.
"Anything involving surveying for new construction will be among our core missions. We also provide support and data points to the line units in some of the projects they are working on, said 1st Lt. Kyle A Golonski, Construction Manager, 130th Engineers Technical Headquarters Section.
"We have projects everywhere from the Philippines to Guam to Alaska, and each mission offers something new. Some of the most recent are things like evaluations and air field design at Pohakuloa Training Area to supporting the construction of the Range 5 trench training area on the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe," he said.
In color form, the 8th TSC patch pattern of red and white is adapted from the Eighth Army shoulder sleeve insignia and the manner in which the wedges enclose the star is suggestive of the support mission. The blue star, symbolic of command, has eight points signifying the Command's numerical designation. The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for the Eighth Field Army Support Command in May 1968. It was redesignated for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command in December 2005.
The coming together of the various units within the 8th TSC promotes morale, and as many Soldiers were not familiar with the patriotic photography tradition, it helps to honor the memory of those who paid the price for freedom a century ago while offering a new way to educate those unfamiliar with this beginning of today's modern Army.
Events will continue to commemorate the Army's role in WWI, which was characterized by our Soldiers' patriotism, service and sacrifice.
The U.S. Army Center of Military History leads commemoration efforts in the United States and abroad through 2019. Significant dates for 2018 include week-long commemoration events in France and Belgium on 24-30 July, 3-9 August and 19-25 September and the single day events in Hamel, France on 4 July and the Armistice Day event on 11 November.
The 8th TSC would like to thank Capt. John D. Howard and Lt. Col Rene Ybarra for their technical expertise in in the concept development of the event.