FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers, Family members and friends from across the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade witnessed the 87th Division Sustainment Support Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jonathan Daniels, relinquish command to Lt. Col. Darsharee Saik, formerly the brigade’s chief support operations officer, during a ceremony on Fort Stewart, Georgia, May 11, 2023. Formal change of command ceremonies are rooted in the Army tradition of ensuring a unit’s Soldiers witnessed the passing of authority from one commander to another. Daniels’ Soldiers achieved a number of notable accomplishments throughout his command.
“Under Daniels’ leadership, the 87th quickly trained up to support the 48th Infantry Brigade of the Georgia National Guard,” said Col. David Key, brigade commander and the ceremony’s presiding officer. “Once finished, they prepared and deployed to support the 101st [Airborne Division] at the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, receiving the highest assessments of any echelon above brigade sustainment unit in Joint Readiness Training Center history.”
Like the brigade, the “Base of the Pyramid” battalion builds and maintains cohesive teams that are highly trained and disciplined in order to support, not only the 3rd Infantry Division, but geographic Combatant Commands worldwide.
“Over the past couple years, we have successfully deployed several units in support of three combatant commands,” said Daniels. “It's truly incredible the work they do and they are the epitome of “not fancy, just tough.”
As part of the U.S. strategic response force, units of 3rd ID regularly deploy all over the world, assisting allies and partners in a wide range of environments and missions.
In March 2022, the 3rd Infantry Division deployed approximately 130 service members from the Bravo Company, 87th DSSB to provide additional logistics support to units deployed in Europe. That mission was to reassure NATO allies, deter Russian aggression and support a range of other logistical requirements in the region. It was a historic and very short-notice deployment in response to events on the other side of the world.
One year later, Soldiers of Alpha Company, 87th DSSB, left for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East. Those Soldiers’ current mission is to provide sustainment support to units within the U.S. Army Central and U.S. Central Command area of operations, as part of a multinational force committed to deter malign influence, violent extremist organizations and state adversaries across the theater.
With the Army’s most modern armored brigade combat team tested against a multi-domain enemy in the Mojave Desert at the Army’s National Training Center this year, the DSSB was called upon to provide sustainment support that had the lethality and agility to match the tempo and speed of force-on-force maneuver in battle with a simulated but free-thinking adversary. The unit was key in facilitating all rotational forces’ reception, staging, onward movement, and integration plans. During the exercise, the DSSB Soldiers established multiple support areas and drove more than 35,000 km throughout 44 logistical convoys in an austere environment that experienced weeks of extreme weather, including blizzards in mountain ranges and exceptional amounts of rain in the high desert.
Concurrent to the training and worldwide missions, Daniel’s battalion was also tasked with changing to meet the vision of the Army of 2030. For two years, the 3rd ID has been modernizing to become prepared and equipped to win in large scale combat operations against a similarly capable adversary. As the division fields much more technical and complicated systems to compete with any potential enemy, sustainment functions must also modernize to ensure unit readiness in a challenging global political environment. As one example of the Army’s force modernization efforts, the 87th DSSB activated a new maintenance unit, the 716th Maintenance Platoon, on Dec.16, 2022. The new unit adds maintenance capabilities to the armored division equipped with the latest Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks and armored personnel carriers.
“It was my privilege to serve alongside each and every one of you,” said Daniels. “Being part of something bigger than myself for the past two years has been the honor of my career; and I know that this unit is in the great hands of its new commander, Lt. Col. Saik.”
This summer, the 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters and the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade are scheduled to deploy to Europe to replace the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters, and the 4th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, as part of a regular rotation of forces in support of U.S. commitment to NATO allies and partners in Europe. Saik will now lead 87th DSSB elements on this mission.
“There is no other organization in the Army that I would rather be a part of,” said Saik. “I will give everything I got day in and day out to ensure that our Soldiers and Families are well taken care of so we can continue to achieve greatness.”