FORT KNOX, Ky. — The 1st Theater Sustainment Command conducted a reflagging ceremony for the 18th Finance Support Center, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, at their Fowler Hall headquarters on Fort Knox, Kentucky, Oct. 13, 2023. The event was hosted by Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley, commander of the 1st TSC.
During the morning ceremony, the 12th Finance Operations Center replaced the 18th FISC and became part of the 1st TSC’s support operations directorate where it will function as a force integrator with six personnel assigned.
Additionally, a team from the 45th Army Financial Management Center will stand up and be based with the 1st TSC at their Fort Knox headquarters. Army Financial Management Command will rotationally attach Financial Management Teams to support 1st TSC, as well as other theaters in a new operational design.
First Team Soldiers, senior leaders, and friends and family of the 18th FISC attended the ceremony to witness the reflagging and to celebrate this latest evolution to the unit’s storied lineage.
Since being constituted on April 16, 1987, in the active Army as the 18th Finance Group, assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps at (then) Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the unit has redesignated several times. In early 1998, the 18th Finance Group and the 18th Personnel Group combined to form the provisional 18th Soldier Support Group. Almost a decade later on September 16, 2007, the 18th SSG was inactivated and reflagged as the 18th Financial Management Center, assigned to the 1st TSC, Third Army. The 18th FMC further redesignated on July 13, 2012, as the 18th Financial Management Support Center, followed by a relocation to Fort Knox, Kentucky on July 16, 2017. Finally, on July 19, 2021, the unit reorganized and redesignated to its final structure as the18th Finance Support Center.
The 18th FISC has conducted multiple previous overseas deployments, beginning in February 1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield. The unit followed with deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Spartan Shield, and most recently in October 2022 in support of Operation Enduring Sentinel.
Brig. Gen. Eric P. Shirley, commanding general of the 1st TSC, noted the historic nature of the reorganization efforts and how the ceremony was also a bit personal to him.
“I am honored to preside over the reflagging of the historic 18th Finance Support Center. The 18th has a long and storied history and has served in many different iterations and formations. I also see a sense of irony, as welcoming the 18th back from their final deployment was literally my first official action on the day I assumed command here in June. It was just as big of an honor then as it is now,” Shirley added. Explaining the need for the new structure and redesignation, the commanding general of the 1st TSC reflected on the changing aspects of our Army over the years.
“During the last 248 years, our Army’s strategies and tactics have evolved from using muskets and horses as primary weapon systems to augmented reality, cyber technologies and advanced kinetic weaponry.
“This ever-changing world requires constant innovation for the U.S. Army to maintain its competitive advantage, and during this time, the Army’s Finance Corps must continually adapt itself to meet the needs of both battlefield commanders and the Soldiers under their charge,” Shirley said.
“This is being done to build the Army of 2030 and ensure the adversaries of the United States cannot outrange or outpace our Army on traditional battlefields or the new frontiers of space and cyberspace,” Shirley noted.
According to the U.S. Army Financial Management Command and starting in October 2023, all of the Army's active-component finance units will realign into the following: one Army financial management center under USAFMCOM; four finance battalions and four early entry finance teams at the corps-level; and three finance operations centers at each of the Army’s active-duty theater sustainment commands.
This realignment, referred to as a Force Design Update, will operationalize USAFMCOM, enable mission command and build mechanisms for better theater-level planning for tactical and operational finance operations. Ultimately, it will provide commanders the critical capabilities necessary on the multi-domain battlefield to mass finance capability at sustainment decisive points.
To build the Army of 2030 capable of meeting these challenges, the Army determined it must acquire advanced sensors; concentrate highly lethal, low-signature combat forces rapidly from dispersed locations; deliver precise, longer-range fires as part of the Joint Force, protect U.S. forces from air, missile and drone attacks; be secure from enemy cyber and electronic attacks; and be able to sustain the fight across contested terrain and over time.
Accordingly, all the aforementioned efforts have one thing in common – the need for money. Therefore, it is the charge of the Army’s Finance Corps to ensure the Army can fund those requirements and sustain the fight of the future.
The U.S. Army’s Finance Corps is nearly as old as the Army itself. Born just two days after the Continental Army was created, the position of Army Paymaster General was established on June 16, 1775. Since then, the Army’s Finance Corps has been integral to winning our nation’s wars, funding and sustaining the fight around the globe.
Concluding his remarks, Shirley optimistically added, “I look forward to new beginnings as our recently activated 12th Finance Operations Center and Team One of the 45th Army Financial Management Center begin to write their own histories and forge their own legacies as part of the U.S. Army’s Finance Corps here at Fort Knox with the 1st TSC.”
All reorganization efforts are expected to be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2025.