SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – The 8th Theater Sustainment Command, located at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, kicked off the Army’s 247th birthday with a change of command June 14, on Hamilton Field, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where Maj. Gen. David Wilson relinquished his responsibilities to Brig. Gen. Jered Helwig.
“Today is truly bittersweet, as I have relinquished my responsibilities here alongside teammates, but most importantly family, after four years straight in the Pacific,” said Wilson, outgoing commanding general of the 8th TSC. “When thinking about today, there are two phrases that I use and consistently come back to… I am blessed and it is an honor to serve. It is truly an honor of a lifetime to be in the United States Army as a commissioned officer, to have served as the commander of a Theater Sustainment Command, and to have been assigned to the Theater Army of the Pacific in beautiful Hawaii. My tenure here has gone by fast and my time has drawn to a close. I thank all those that did not help me count time, but instead, helped me make my time here count."
Gen. Charles Flynn, Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific Command, whom presided over the ceremony, stated that Wilson contributions to logistics’ stoic history have been vital to the joint force, and Indo-Pacific operations.
“Roles of the U.S. Army in this theater, particularly with the foundational capabilities presented here in this command, have been foundational and fundamental to understanding and ensuring the security and prosperity of the United States for over a century,” said Flynn. “Frankly this history and extraordinary legacy of Army logisticians and logistics are largely known and too often under appreciated. As was mentioned earlier, 8th TSC draws it roots from 8th Field Army Support Command during Korea.”
During his two year tenure as commanding general, Wilson’s knowledge and contributions to sustainment operations throughout the Pacific continued the legacy the organization established more than 50 years ago.
“This command accomplished so much over the past two years even with the pandemic and I am proud of what all officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, soldiers and civilians have done in support of the Theater Army and joint force,” said Wilson.
During his speech, Wilson noted that over the past two years, the 8th TSC sailed an Army Watercraft 7,523 nautical miles, the longest distance since World War II, developed the theater sustainment posture review, established and employed a theater sustainment review and analysis team, championed USARPAC’s Army Prepositioned Stock 3 proof of principle, supported 279 explosive ordinance missions, 32 construction projects, and 683 dive missions, and provided financial and human resources support during deployments and the Oahu water crisis.
“Our greatest strength is our people,” said Wilson. “The mission can only be accomplished through our soldiers, NCOs, officers, and Department of the Army civilians.”
As the 8th TSC continues to build its legacy, Flynn noted that sustainment operations is the core of the joint force.
“This legacy which this team proudly continues is one of the top reasons why Secretary Wormuth [Secretary of the Army, Honorable Christine Wormuth] refers to the Army as the backbone of joint operations in the Indo Pacific,” said Flynn. “They [8th TSC] have and continue to provide the central foundational capabilities to the joint force…but none of this has been or continues to be possible without extraordinary leaders at all levels throughout this command, and that indispensable quality of leadership is represented by the two individuals exchanging colors here today, Maj. Gen. David Wilson and Brig. Gen. Jered Helwig.”
The passing of colors from an outgoing commander to an incoming commander ensures that the unit and its soldiers are never without official leadership or continuation of trust, and signifies an allegiance of Soldiers to their unit's commander.
After the passing of the colors, Flynn said “Maj. Gen. Wilson, thank you for your hard work and dedication to leading this stoic organization to the heights that it has reached. You have led a winning team, one that has enabled the Theater Army and the joint force to accomplish so much during your time in command. I wish you the best of luck as you step into another follow on command assignment, leading Army Sustainment Command. Jered, I know that service is something that you and your family value quite a bit. You have accomplished a lot during your career serving in the Army, welcome to the Theater Army Indo Pacific. I know you are ready for this challenge.”
During the closing remarks, Wilson signed off as Sustainer 6 and officially relinquished the 8th TSC to Helwig, who spoke to those in attendance and via live stream.
“To the 8th TSC team, this is a phenomenal organization that is capable of extraordinary things,” said Helwig. “I am honored to stand in the ranks with you. For 247 years our Army has been defending this Nation in support of the joint force. As we look out over the horizon, it is clear that the job is not done. The freedom and liberty that we cherish comes at a cost, but anything worth doing, is costly indeed. I know this team understands the cost and the sacrifice. I also know this team is ready. Let’s get after it. Sustain the force. One team. Army strong.”
Wilson, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, will continue his service as the Army Sustainment Command’s commanding general in Rock Island, Illinois.