FORT HOOD, Texas — The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command will host their 55th birthday celebration Sept. 21-25. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect how Fort Hood, Texas and the rest of the nation operates, this year’s celebration will be conducted virtually.
This year, the 13th Corps Support Command Association, community partners, families and current and past 13th ESC Soldiers will participate in a virtual fun run Sept. 21 and a cake cutting ceremony on Sept. 23.
On Sept. 25, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the 13th ESC Memorial. The wreath laying honors the 111 Soldiers and Airmen who lost their lives in defense of the nation while serving with 13th ESC since 9/11.
Also on Sept. 25, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson, who was assigned to the 49th Transportation Battalion, will be inducted into the Sustainer HOF by Mr. Donnie Robinson, the 13th ESC Safety Officer. Ferguson was mortally wounded while barricading a conference room door from an attacker and sacrificing his own life to protect his fellow Soldiers. His final act of valor saved the lives of 14 Soldiers and one civilian.
Although this year’s celebration will be conducted under COVID-19 conditions, having the celebration is important for the command.
“Being able to uphold the rich customs, courtesies and traditions the Army and this unit has experienced over decades helps maintain a sense of normalcy,” said Sgt. Maj. Erick Detrich, 13th ESC Operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
COVID-19 has been front-and-center since earlier in the year, and the 13th ESC and 1st Medical Brigade have spent the year supporting those efforts.
“On this, the 13th ESC’s 55th birthday, things are extremely different now than they were a year ago,” said Col. Matthew H. Ruedi, the 13th ESC Deputy Commander. “Although COVID-19 continues to change the way we operate as an Army, the work our units have done since the early stages to combat this unpredictable enemy is inspiring and motivating.”
The 13th ESC was activated in Sept. 1965 and has been involved in campaigns such as; Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Calm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve (Iraq), Freedom Sentinel (Afghanistan) and Spartan Shield.
The unit has also embarked on numerous humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in Cuba as part of Operation Sea Signal V, Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, Strong Support as part of Joint Task Force-Bravo following Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Katrina/Rita hurricane relief efforts in the summer of 2005.
Whether supporting the community or warfighter at home or overseas, the 13th ESC has made an impact for 55 years.
“Everything our Soldiers and leaders have done in the past year has helped continue to build on the lasting legacy of our prestigious unit,” Ruedi said. “Like those who served, fought and sustained the warfighter for 55 years, 13th ESC’s success would be impossible without them.”
Due to social distancing protocols, there will be limited attendance for the cake cutting ceremony and wreath laying. Those wishing to see the events, please visit the 13th ESC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/13ESC.