SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The 8th Theater Sustainment Command has a short, but imperative history, whose traditions date back to the very earliest days of our Army. Today, a new chapter has been written as Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry relinquished command of the 8th TSC to Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons on Hamilton Field at Schofield Barracks, June 13.
The 8th TSC's reach spans more than 9,000 miles across the Pacific region providing to its subordinate units and their more than 8,000 Soldiers maintenance, transport, engineer support, supply and services, explosive ordnance disposal, human resource services, finance, and military police support.
Since its constitution and activation in 1968 as the 8th Field Army Support Command, its redesignation in 2005, its reintegration as the 8th Sustainment Command (Theater) (Provisional) in 2006, to its activation as the 8th Theater Sustainment Command May 1, 2009, the unit remains an integral piece of USARPAC's war fighting capability.
"It's truly been a remarkable ride," said Terry. "We knew that the 8th TSC was an evolving unit, expanding its mission set throughout the USARPAC area of operations. We also knew that we weren't just a formation of logistics units. A truly multi-functional unit, complete with a complex organizational structure and mission sets."
Terry went on to say that logistical units, such as the 8th TSC, are unique when their deployment window comes around. In divisions, units deploy in brigade elements but the 8th TSC will send units as small as platoon, section and/or team formations to support larger units.
"Within the 8th TSC, we are always in the Army Force Generation model process," he continued. "Preparing units to deploy, taking care of issues for family members and Soldiers of deployed units, and reintegrating units and Soldiers upon their return."
The 8th TSC, he said, continued to support USARPAC and their mission despite the constant process of deployment and redeployment.
"The great leaders and Soldiers you see on this field and in the stands make that happen," Terry said.
Terry admitted that it was tough giving up the colors today, but that is what makes our Army the finest in the world.
"Commanders come and go, and through it all, the units go on and continue to excel," he said.
Lyons kept his speech short but made sure to thank those who he had the most respect for.
"There is no question in my mind that you, the Soldiers, are the best America has to offer," he said. "Through your service, you demonstrate that responsibility comes before privilege. You honor those that came before us. Daily you demonstrate your incredible strength of character through your commitment to freedom, willingness to give more than you take, and being part of something bigger than yourself."
He also thanked Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, commander of USARPAC; Maj. Gen. Terry and his family for their strong support and seamless transition; the veterans in the stands; and the families of all the Soldiers deployed. Before leaving the stand, he thanked the Soldiers one last time and promised that together, they would help make the 8th TSC even stronger.
"Thanks for what you do," Lyons said to the Soldiers on the field. "It is an absolute privilege to stand in your ranks, with you, as we build on the next chapter in our history."