Second-largest command in the Army Reserve gains new commander

By Sgt. 1st Class Alexandra Hays | 79th Theater Sustainment Command | Dec. 12, 2018

JOINT FORCES TRAINING BASE LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — Facing a display of military tactical vehicles, an enormous American flag, and about 300 troops representing the 20,000-strong command, Maj. Gen. Eugene J. LeBoeuf took command of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command from Maj. Gen. Mark W. Palzer in a ceremony here Dec. 8, 2018. 

“You have made this command great; you have made this command fun — I’ve got to tell you, this is the coolest job in the Army,” Palzer said to troops in his parting speech. 

During Palzer’s three-year tenure, the 79th saw many changes including the growth and transition from a non-deployable headquarters with a stateside mission to a deployable unit capable of providing logistics support to an entire theater. Along with the transition came a regional alignment — to serve as U.S. Army Africa’s logistics capability on the continent. 

Palzer thanked 79th troops for their dedication to serving the country during his command and explained their commitment has enabled subordinate units to become more capable, better trained, better equipped and better led. 

“You have made this transition of the 79th possible — all of you,” Plazer said. “I leave here, proud of what we’ve accomplished, but even more proud with the knowledge that you will continue to grow and improve under major general LeBoeuf.” 

At its inception, the 79th saw extensive combat in France during WWI and then again in WWII, including participating in the Utah Beach landings on D-Day. Today, the Army Reserve’s second-largest unit is responsible for logistics Soldiers across 19 states and commands four Expeditionary Sustainment Commands headquartered out of Los Angeles, Washington, Texas, and Kansas. 

“I am very fortunate to assume command of a unit that possesses such a storied lineage and such an important global mission—one that major general Palzer has prepared very well for future successes,” said LeBoeuf, who arrives at the 79th after serving as deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Africa

In his speech, LeBoeuf described a recent family trip to France where he visited historical battle grounds where many 79th Infantry Division Soldiers engaged in bitter fighting. 

“My family and I stood on that same Utah Beach last summer in mid-June–our first visit to Normandy, France … where Western Europe’s liberation began and where many of America’s heroes made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom,” he explained. 

LeBoeuf said he plans on visiting Utah Beach again as the 79th’s commanding general, and that although he expects new challenges to arise during his tenure, he’s certain the unit will prevail, as it has since WWI. 

LeBoeuf, who was promoted from brigadier general to major general a few hours before the ceremony, thanked Palzer for his support and said he looked forward to serving the unit to the best of his ability. 

Distinguished guests at ceremony included Maj. Gen. Scottie D. Carpenter, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, retired Maj. Gen. David Conboy, the commanding generals of the 311th, 4th, 451st, and 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Commands, and community leaders including the mayors of Los Alamitos and Cypress, city council members, and Army Reserve Ambassadors.