FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii –
The Pride of the Pacific, the 9th Mission Support Command, a geographic command of the U.S. Army Reserve, honored outgoing commanding general Brig. Gen. Douglas F. Anderson and welcomed incoming commanding general Brig. Gen. Timothy D. Connelly at an official change of command and passing of the colors ceremony at Fort Shafter’s historic Palm Circle on June 30.
“Our Army Reserve has an incredibly proud history, every thing we do in the Pacific is Total Army, Active, Guard, Reserve,” Brown, senior commander of the event, said. “There are incredible challenges you have to being twice the citizen. The full time jobs they have and the commitments they have, it’s absolutely amazing.”
The 9th MSC has over 3,500 Army Reserve Soldiers, 160 Department of Defense civilians, and is the most diverse and dispersed Army Reserve command. For over 60 years, the 9th has been the Army Reserve command of the Pacific. Covering seven time zones, with a presence across the Pacific, including Guam, Saipan, Alaska, American Samoa, Japan and Republic of Korea, it is diverse in capabilities and actions as well.
“For those of you that don’t know the 9th Mission Support Command, we are a maneuver enhancement brigade, a civil affairs brigade, a forward positioned regional support group in Korea, an Army Hospital filled with amazing operational professionals, a base operations brigade, a schoolhouse brigade that teaches students from all three components of the Army, a structural engineering battalion, a highly capable logistics battalion, a general officer staff support unit, actually two of them, that augment two three and four star headquarters across the Pacific Area of Operations, a highly professional training support brigade, a mobilization operations brigade, and we are home to the Army Reserve’s only infantry battalion, the esteemed 100th Battalion 442nd Infantry Regiment,” Connelly said.
Brown spoke with pride at the accomplishments of the 60 years of 9th MSC in the Pacific and in particular, those of the past two years with Anderson at the helm.
“(Brig. Gen.) Doug Anderson has done a spectacular job with this command over the last two years,” Brown said. “The 9th MSC has really revolutionized how we support civil authorities in disasters.”
“Unfortunately, natural disasters are something we have to deal with here in the Pacific,” Brown continued.
For example, he referred to 2018’s Tropical Cyclone Gita, in American Samoa, where over 300 Army Reserve Soldiers already reside in American Samoa and therefore Army Reserve Soldiers of the 9th volunteered and were mobilized in place to work with FEMA and the Red Cross quickly and with great results.
Brown referred next to the recovery and relief efforts following the disastrous destruction of 2018’s Super Typhoon Yutu, which directly impacted the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, particularly Saipan and Tinian.
Again, before mobilizing from elsewhere, the team already on the ground volunteered, and then within a short time, over 500 were on ground from across the Pacific, assisting in the form of Joint Task Force-West on site and from nearby in Guam. Brown also mentioned the multiple exercise and partner nation support across Asia and the Pacific from within the formations.
“(They are) number one in the Reserve for retention, for medical readiness, which is hard enough full time, and they are part time, they have really operationalized the force,” he said.
He called in a round of applause for “Team Anderson,” referring to Anderson’s tremendously supportive wife Eileen and three children. After 31 years of honorable service to the nation, Anderson must hang up the uniform.
“It’s been a long ride since 1988, and between then and now, I’ve had the honor and privilege to lead four platoons, two companies, a battalion, three brigades, a training division, most of the time a regional support command, and a mission support command, “ Anderson said. “I was also a staff officer in quite a few organizations.”
During his career, Anderson commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, commanded TAC Infantry Company in the 4th Infantry Division, senior adviser to the 1st Iraqi Army Division in Fallujah, Iraq, commanded the 94th Personnel Services Division Brigade, 97th Training Brigade (Intermediate Level Education), and the 75th Training Command (Mission Command), among many other positions.
“Thank you for allowing me to serve with you and be a small part of your team,” Anderson said. “You are the ‘Pride of the Pacific,’ and you have kept it so.”
“We are thrilled to have you here on the team and on behalf of all of the U.S. Army Pacific, welcome Time Connelly, and fond farewell to Team Anderson, you really did make sure the 9th MSC Was the Pride of the Pacific, no doubt about that,” Brown said. “We say farewell to one superstar, we bring in another, so the Army did this one right, Tim Connelly has been the Deputy Commanding Officer, so he has been a part of the 9th MSC."
Connelly, originally a military police officer, now with diverse Reserve Command experience and also a proven combat leader with Combat Support Military Police Co. in Iraq and again with the general officer joint staff in Kandahar Afghanistan and as Executive Officer to the Chief of Army Reserve Command, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
“It is with a deep sense of gratitude and humility that I stand here today charged with meeting and serving the incredible Soldiers of the 9th Mission Support Command, an amazing and diverse collection of military capabilities, ready to serve our nations’ call, and to get to the fight quickly should we be called to protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation,” Connelly said. “Gen. Brown, thank you for having the trust in me to protect this charge. I will do everything within my power to not let you and the great Soldiers of the 9th Mission Support Command down as we press forward, carrying on the momentum of the great leadership of Brigadier General Doug Anderson.”
“The 9th Mission Support Command is an incredible organization that has been led for the last two years by a fantastic leader in Brig. Gen. Doug Anderson, thank you for your invaluable coaching and mentoring… you held up the standards, took care of Soldiers, and leave 9th MSC ready as it has ever been,” Connelly said. “The team and I will carry that momentum forward and build on it every day, ensuring the Soldiers are ready to answer our nations call, and defend the cause of freedom whenever and wherever it might be challenged. Sir, all policies and procedures remain in effect, One Team, Pride of the Pacific, keep it so.”