NEWS | July 12, 2017

Army Reserve commander bids farewell during unit’s centennial

By Master Sgt. Anthony L Taylor 85th Support Command

Soldiers stood statuesque across the parade field as formations of flags flapped in the wind during the 85th Support Command’s Relinquishment of Command ceremony July 9, 2017.

Brig. Gen. Frederick R. Maiocco Jr., 85th Support Command commanding general, relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Tracy A. Thompson, Deputy Commanding General for Support, United States Army Reserve.

Thompson, the reviewing officer for the ceremony, praised Maiocco for his service and the continued efforts of the 85th Support Command. The command, in partnership with First Army, is made up of 46 Army Reserve battalions, nine brigade support elements, and nearly 4,300 Soldiers and civilians spanning the continental United States and Puerto Rico. The command holds a great deal of responsibility ensuring readiness of reserve forces ahead of mobilizations and overseas deployments, Thompson said.

“We need to refocus some of our efforts in getting our Army Reserve units out the door quickly, if needed,” Thompson said. “This unit, the 85th, plays a huge role in that as part of First Army and will continue to play a huge role in that. So, in support of First Army, they’re the ones who validate (Army Reserve and Army National Guard) Soldiers who serve overseas.”

Maiocco expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve at the 85th Support Command as commander.

“Everything about what we do as an Army is about providing land power to close with and destroy the enemy,” Maiocco said. “That’s what our job is, and the Custer Division is right at the heart of that.”

Maiocco added his appreciation for the members of the command and expressed pride in their accomplishments. He also acknowledged the communities and community leaders.

“It is so important to connect with the communities,” he said. “Only one percent today have some kind of connection with the armed forces of the United States. It’s so important that you spend time with civilians and tell your Army story. Talk about the great things that you are doing and the reasons why you serve.”

Distinguished visitors attending the ceremony included Maj. Gen. Chris R. Gentry, Deputy Commanding General for Support, First Army; Command Sgt. Maj. Richard K. Johnson, Command Sergeant Major, First Army; Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, Commanding General, First Army Division East; Command Sgt. Maj. Royce B. Manis, Command Sergeant Major, First Army Division East; Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey R. Dillingham, Command Sergeant Major, First Army Division West; Dan McManus, representing Sen. Tammy Duckworth; Mayor Thomas Hayes, Mayor of Arlington Heights, Illinois; and Army Reserve Ambassadors Michael Devine and William J. Hawes.

“(Brigadier) General Maiocco and the 85th have been First Army’s great partners in the efforts to train and advise the reserve components on readiness and mobilization,” Gentry said. “We really thank him for everything that he’s done to contribute to that and the great partnership and relationship that he’s established.”

In honor of the 85th Support Command’s centennial anniversary, the unit’s color guard team presented the colors in World War I-era uniforms. Following the relinquishment of command, another ceremony was held at the command headquarters to celebrate the command’s 100-year lineage.

The 85th Support Command shares a unique partnership with First Army, generating combat-ready units and Soldiers for the Army that are trained, equipped and lethal to win our nation’s wars. First Army mobilizes, trains, deploys and demobilizes all U.S. Army National Guard and Army Reserve forces throughout the continental U.S., providing trained and ready forces for diverse missions worldwide, as U.S. Forces Command’s executive agent for implementation of Army Total Force Policy.

Maiocco is moving on to serve as the commanding general of the 7th Mission Support Command, which is based in Germany and responsible for all Army Reserve Soldiers in Europe.