FORT STEWART, Ga. - It's not often that the present comes face to face with the past, but when the opportunity presents itself, it's best to seize the moment.

The 3rd Sustainment Brigade did just that during their Mission Readiness Exercise March 26 -- April 6 at Evans Army Airfield.

During the exercise, the unit was graded by observer/trainers from Operations Group Sierra, a team from the Mission Command Training Program out of Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

However, what many didn't realize was that one of the trainers was none other than retired Maj. Gen. Larry Lust, who commanded the 3rd Sustainment Brigade from July 1991 until July 1993 as a colonel when it was the 3rd Infantry Division Support Command, headquartered in Nuremburg, Germany.

This was retired Maj. Gen. Lust's first trip back to the Marne Division since leaving in 1993, but he said he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. "It was nice to come back and see the Third ID patch underneath the dragon," said Maj. Gen. Lust, now an associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. "It was nice to be among the Marne Soldiers and the sustainers of the 3rd SB."

Although retred Maj. Gen. Lust was initially commissioned as an Armor officer, he branch transferred to logistics because of one simple reason: he didn't like the way his unit was being supported. He said he realized that if he wanted to change things, he needed to be a part of the solution.

"I realized that complaining about it wasn't going to help fix it," he said. "I needed to branch transfer and do something about it. I found that the Soldiers were just as good in combat support as they were in combat arms," he said. "The sustainment trooper's job never ends. The combat arms guy goes out, does a training event, cleans up and has a three-day holiday. Yet the warehouse still receives parts every day, the fuel tanks get delivered, their job never ends. If the sustainers do their job right, the combat arms guys don't see all of that."

Today, retired Maj. Gen. Lust said he hasn't seen a vast change in the mission of the sustainment brigade. Technology has enabled today's sustainer to move information around the battlefield much faster, although the basic skills of analog must not be forgotten. Yet, he said the mission of supporting the Soldiers in the fight remains unchanged, and the passion of the sustainment Soldier is still strong. They remain, as he coined back in the DISCOM, the "Heart of the Rock."

"This is a darn fine brigade, and if I were to wake up one day and command the brigade again, I would be darn proud to wear the patch and stand among the formation. I was really tickled to see that the motto carried over to the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, because it really does describe what this brigade does. It is the heart that pumps logistical life into the [Third Infantry Division] every day."