ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Last month, the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command held a virtual change of command ceremony for their commanding general; last weekend, their headquarters and headquarters company conducted a virtual change of responsibility receiving a new first sergeant, July 10, 2020.
Outgoing first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Anthony L. Taylor served as the senior enlisted adviser for the HHC commander for two years. Taylor will now be attending the Sergeants Major Academy course to prepare for his next assignment.
Incoming first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Karen Fittanto previously served at the 416th Theater Engineer Command in Darien, Illinois. She assumed first sergeant responsibilities during July’s Soldier Virtual Battle Assembly.
Taylor thanked the Soldiers from each section for their dedicated service.
“There have definitely been some challenging moments, but it’s helped me learn many of you better, what it really takes to run this organization, and to see all the hard work you put in to making us a success,” he said. “I know I’ve relied on every section in our headquarters for specific guidance or to just get the job done and accomplish our tasks.”
Taylor offered some final words for Soldiers still growing in their careers.
“Do not allow yourself to go stagnant. I have seen so much greatness in many of you. Keep charging forward in your career, and as I’ve told many of you, never leave your career in someone else’s hands. Always follow up on your actions until you get to your goal’s execution, and even then, close out that action,” he said. “Thank you to all and Custer spirit.”
Maj. Scott Hager, HHC Commander, who presided over the ceremony thanked Taylor for his years of dedicated service, and his job as first sergeant. He also welcomed Fittanto and pledged the unit’s continued support.
Fittanto accepted the position and promised to do her best.
“It is an honor for me to be selected as the first sergeant. Thank you to the chain of command for placing your trust and confidence in me to serve in this great organization,” she said. “I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. I work hard to accomplish the mission and take care of the welfare of the Soldiers.”
Fittanto thanked Taylor for his leadership and dedicated service to the HHC, 85th USARSC.
Taylor, a senior public affairs non-commissioned officer with more than 26 years of service, has held a variety of reserve assignments as a chemical operations specialist and public affairs specialist. He has served on overseas assignments in South Korea and Germany, and served on an overseas deployment, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, that took him to Kuwait, Iraq, Tajikistan, Bahrain and Qatar.
Fittanto, a financial management specialist with 14 years of service, has held a variety of positions at the 416th Theater Engineer Command, including G-1 Personnel NCOIC and budget manager.
The 85th USARSC’s nine brigade support elements, along with its 45 battalions dispersed across 25 states, provide capable and ready Army Reserve observer coach/trainers. These OC/Ts possess the capabilities to partner with and train Army leaders in focused areas of leadership, training, equipping and unit manning in order to support First Army’s mission to successfully deploy units to win on the battlefield.
The 85th USARSC lineage dates back to August 5, 1917 when it was constituted as the 85th Infantry Division, and later activated at Camp Custer, Michigan, to deploy overseas in July 1918. The division later served in World War II and participated in the campaigns of Rome-Arno, Po Valley, and North Apennines.
Four “Custermen” were awarded the Medal of Honor for their service in WWII: 1st. Lt. Orville Bloch, 338th Infantry Regiment; Sgt. Chris Carr, 337th Infantry Regiment; and posthumously: Staff Sgt. George Keathley, 338th infantry Regiment and 1st Lt. Robert Waugh, 339th Infantry Regiment.