SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Surface Warriors, leaders, friends and family gathered virtually to watch and participate in the U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s change of command ceremony here June 23.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen passed the colors to Brig. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, the command’s 22nd commanding general. Farmen had served as SDDC’s commanding general since February 2018 and retired in a follow-on ceremony after 34 years of service in the U.S. Army.
Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, served as presiding official via virtual connection from Washington, D.C., along with Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander of U.S. Transportation Command.
A change of command is a military tradition that represents the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The passing of the colors from outgoing to incoming commander ensures that the unit and its Soldiers are never without official leadership and signifies the continuing allegiance of Soldiers to their unit's commander.
During the ceremony, Perna thanked Farmen for his outstanding leadership of SDDC and welcomed Hoyle.
“SDDC is gaining a highly capable senior leader and masterful logistician,” said Perna. “She is without a doubt the right leader at the right time to command SDDC.”
A native of Bay City, Michigan, Hoyle was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer in 1994, following graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Her key assignments include: commander, Special Troops Battalion of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Fort Stewart, Georgia; commander, 71st Explosive Ordinance Disposal Group at Fort Carson, Colorado; executive officer to the executive deputy of Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; commanding general, Joint Munitions Command and Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Previous to this assignment, she served as the chief of Ordnance and commandant, U.S. Army Ordnance School, Fort Lee, Virginia.
Her military education includes the Chemical Officer Basic Course, Combined Logistics Officer Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering management, a Master of Science in systems engineering, and a Master of Science in national security and resource strategy.
“General Hoyle’s reputation precedes her as a servant leader, competent, committed and willing to provide a fresh perspective to the Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise,” said Lyons. “She’s unquestionably the best leader for SDDC at this time in our nation’s history.”
Hoyle said SDDC will continue to provide exceptional support to the Joint Force as USTRANSCOM’s Army service component command and major subordinate command to AMC.
“I look forward to continuing SDDC’s great legacy,” said Hoyle.
With a Surface Warrior workforce of over 5,000 transportation professionals and nine total force transportation brigades located throughout the world, SDDC moves, deploys and sustains the armed forces to deliver readiness and lethality at speed.