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NEWS | Oct. 22, 2020

Command of second-largest Army Reserve unit changes hands in COVID-conscious ceremony

By Sgt. 1st Class Alexandra Hays 79th Theater Sustainment Command

Masked and minimally attended in keeping with the current COVID-19 public health precautions, command of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command exchanged hands in a ceremony here on Sept. 26, 2020.

Maj. Gen. David W. Ling took command of the 79th from outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Eugene J. LeBoeuf. Additionally, a change of responsibility took place between Command Sgt. Maj. John K. Zimmerman and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Hassler.

“Today with great pride, we honor four proven leaders who have served our Nation with honor,” said Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, who hosted the event. “On behalf of Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels: Job well done,” Roper continued.

Hallmarks of LeBoeuf’s tenure included the 79th’s operational alignment with U.S. Army Africa as the Army’s logistics capability on the African continent, and commanding a unit geographically spread across about half of the nation during the most serious pandemic to hit the U.S. in recent history.

Big changes in how the Army Reserve and 79th TSC conducted training came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: training events were postponed, modified, or canceled, and for the first time in the Army Reserve’s history, monthly battle assemblies were conducted virtually.

LeBoeuf saw the 79th through the first several months of the pandemic, then held a soft hand-off to Ling in June. LeBoeuf has since moved on to take the position of Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Forces Command.

“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all the Soldiers and civilians for your hard work, desire, enthusiasm, and positive, can-do attitude,” said LeBoeuf. “I'm extraordinarily proud to have been your commander, and a part of this outstanding organization.”

Ling, who comes to the 79th after serving as the Department of the Army assistant deputy chief of staff, G-4, mobilization and training, listed some standards of good command displayed by his predecessor; Committed, loyalty, duty, integrity, competent, potential, training, and healthy climate.

“Gene, thank you for living these words as the commanding general of the 79th TSC and giving me a great command; great civilians; great Soldiers, committed to fighting and winning our nation's wars.”

Change of responsibility between Zimmerman and Hassler took place next.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Hassler, no other assignment that you will get in the Army Reserve will be as good as this one right here in the 79th TSC,” Zimmerman said, after passing off a leader book to his successor.

Hassler, who comes to the 79th TSC from the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected as the next command sergeant major of the 79th TSC, following in the footsteps of great leaders like Command Sgt. Maj. Zimmerman and Command Sgt. Maj. Copeland; it’s truly, truly very humbling.”

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 24 states and commands four Expeditionary Sustainment Commands headquartered in Los Angeles, Washington, Iowa, and Kansas.

“This ceremony represents a promise that the 79th will continue to be steadfast in meeting the demands of the Nation's demanding requirements,” Roper said.