SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Brig. Gen. Gavin A. Lawrence took command of the U.S. Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command today during a change of command ceremony here July 20, 2022 in Hangar 1. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, officiated the ceremony.
Lawrence replaced Maj. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle, who had commanded SDDC since June 2020.
“The Surface Warriors of SDDC constantly rise to the occasion,” said Van Ovost. “SDDC is essential to our nation’s ability to deploy and sustain military forces to deter our adversaries and assure our allies and partners. The members of this command help underwrite the lethality of the joint force and force our adversaries to contend with our significant logistics capabilities.”
Van Ovost said Hoyle provided a clear vision for her Soldiers to follow, calling her “an inclusive leader and a team builder who has an excellent grasp of the strategic context and provides her team the resources they need to be successful.”
In a separate ceremony prior to the change of command, Gen. Ed Daly, commander of Army Materiel Command, presented Hoyle with the Distinguished Service Medal. Hoyle and her husband, Dr. Demetrious Cleotelis, will head to Washington, D.C. for her next assignment as director of operations, G-43/5/7, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters Department of the Army.
Lawrence comes to SDDC from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, at U.S. Army Forces Command.
He was commissioned as a quartermaster officer in 1995 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He has held several key staff and joint positions, to include assignments with Combined Joint Task Force-82 (Afghanistan), the 82nd Airborne Division, and multiple tours in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Headquarters Department of the Army.
Lawrence’s command assignments include the Headquarters and Distribution Company for 225th Forward Support Battalion, Division Support Command, 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; the 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the 25th Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; and Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Lawrence’s combat and operational service include one deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and three deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring freedom.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from USMA, a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College where he successfully completed the Advanced Strategic Arts Program. He has also completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Program and the University of North Carolina’s Institute for Defense and Business LOGTECH Executive Program.
Van Ovost said she is certain Lawrence is up to the challenge of leading SDDC.
“SDDC is gaining a tremendous leader who is ready to build upon its legacy of success,” she said. “I have great confidence that you are well suited to propel this exceptional command into the future.”
Lawrence said he feels privileged to assume command of SDDC.
“It is my intent, my vision, as your new commanding general that we not only sustain but build upon SDDC’s legacy of excellence,” said Lawrence, addressing the members of his new command. “I am absolutely inspired by your service, and I commit to you that I will give all my support to you as we collectively enable combatant commands through provision of deployment and distribution capability, on time, on target, every time.”
With a Surface Warrior workforce of over 5,000 military and civilian transportation professionals and nine total force transportation brigades located throughout the world, SDDC moves, deploys and sustains the armed forces to deliver readiness in support of the nation’s objectives.