DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich.
(Jan. 19, 2023) -- Members of the Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) family gathered to remember the life and accomplishments of the late Maj. Gen. Franciso A. Espaillat, a longtime Army and PEO CS&CSS acquisition professional, teammate, and friend during a dedication ceremony for its main executive conference room held earlier this month.
Espaillat was an acquisition professional with 35 years of service who had two assignments within PEO CS&CSS prior to his passing in 2017, after having just been assigned as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Reserve Command.
His family joined the PEO team to unveil the placards gracing the walls of the conference room named in the general’s honor and cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the room and its dedication in the two-star general’s memory.
Brig. Gen. Samuel L. Peterson, PEO CS&CSS, welcomed the family as well as ceremony attendees and spoke of the importance of the occasion to commemorate “a fine leader -- one of our own – who served this organization in a couple of different capacities within (Product Management Office) Force Projection with distinction and honor.” He added that in commemorating Maj. Gen. Espaillat’s legacy, his contributions, his impacts, we recognize those contributed “not only to our formation, but also to a lot of other formations.
“Think about that legacy,” Peterson continued. “…Serving both within acquisition, helping develop and deliver capabilities to our Warfighters, as well as leading Soldiers who were using those capabilities. That’s a testament to his leadership and legacy. Think about the lives he impacted over his 35-year career. It’s our honor to be able to commemorate our newest conference room in his name … forever representing what he meant to both our organization and our Army.”
Espaillat’s son, Capt. (Promotable) Richard Espaillat, is currently assigned within PEO CS&CSS, serving in its Product Director Army Watercraft Systems office. He shared remarks with those gathered to witness the dedication. “Dad loved the Army, and you don’t do this kind of work for 35 years if you don’t love it.”
He offered his family’s “heartfelt and sincere gratitude” for the conference room dedication in his father’s memory, stating his father took “full advantage” of all the opportunities afforded him during his life.
Quoting Roman stoic philosopher Seneca, Espaillat said, “’A life well lived is long enough.’ Dad lived well and accomplished a lot. He came from a pretty disadvantaged background … and he overcame a lot of adversity. He made the most of the time he had on this Earth.”
A native of New York City, Maj. Gen. Espaillat was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps in 1982 and served in a wide range of logistics, personnel, and acquisition assignments. While serving as the Commanding General, 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary,) he was promoted to Major General in 2017, and selected to serve as the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
He also held many other significant assignments:
Director of the USCENTCOM Deployment and Distribution Operations Center, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Executive Director, Operations, Defense Logistics Agency
Project Manager, Combined Arms Tactical Trainers, PEO Simulation Training and Instrumentation
Deputy Project Manager, Force Projection, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support
Product Manager, Petroleum and Water Systems, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support.
During his military career, he received numerous awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Meritorious Service Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.
Maj. Gen. Espaillat was also recognized with many honorary awards, including:
The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, United States Field Artillery Association
The Honorable Order of Saint George, United States Cavalry and Armor Association
The Honorable Order of Saint Maurice, National Infantry Association
The Knight of the Honorable Order of Saint Michael, Army Aviation Association of America
The Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal, Army Engineer Association
Distinguished Order of Saint Martin, Association of Quartermasters.