December 5, 2015 –
JOINT FORCES TRAINING BASE LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Against a backdrop of a massive American flag held in place by military tactical vehicles, Maj. Gen. Mark W. Palzer took command of the 79th Sustainment Support Command from Maj. Gen. Megan P. Tatu in a ceremony Dec. 5, 2015.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief of the Army Reserve, officiated the ceremony, and thanked Tatu for her service.
“I want to thank Megan and her entire family for everything they’ve done to help this great command, for their exceptional service to the Army, and to the nation,” said Talley. “I certainly do look forward to getting Megan to the U.S. Army Reserve Headquarters at Fort Bragg, where she’ll assume her new duties as the chief of staff.”
The 79th SSC, which traces its lineage back to the 79th Infantry Division and first activated in WWI, is responsible for 19,000 Soldiers and civilians in 19 states. As the second largest subordinate command in the Army Reserve, the 79th SSC’s mission is to provide trained, ready, cohesive, and well-led Sustainment units for world-wide deployment.
Under Tatu’s tenure the 79th SSC deployed 2,000 Soldiers to the Middle East.
“The message that I have really is just a simple thanks,” said Tatu, who has more than 30 years of active service. “A thanks for their sacrifice, because we all know what it takes to wear the uniform; the sacrifices of their families, and I really can’t express enough gratitude of their commitment to serving something greater than themselves.”
“What a special privilege it’s been to wear the cross of Lorraine [the 79th’s Shoulder Insignia and unit patch, signifying triumph] for the last command position of my career,” said Tatu. “This iconic shoulder sleeve insignia represents a historic legacy of sacrifice by Soldiers of the 79th Infantry Division in the name of freedom in two world wars. While the missions of the 79th of old may have differed from that of present day’s 79th, the proud legacy of commitment to something greater than oneself exemplified in the unit’s motto ‘to do for country,’ remains a constant.”
Tatu’s next assignment will be as the Chief of Staff of the Army Reserve. She is the first female Soldier to ever hold that position.
“I really don’t ever approach a position in terms of gender,” Tatu explained of her new benchmark assignment. “It’s just the position at hand. I’m really very honored to be asked to continue to serve and that’s what is at the forefront for me.”
The 79th SSC will soon transition to a Theater Sustainment Command, taking on a more operational mission.
“There clearly is no better leader to guide the command through this historic transition than Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer,” Tatu said. “In my conversations with him leading to this day, he brings great energy, enthusiasm and innovation to the Soldiers and civilians of the command.”
Palzer had a message for the Soldiers of the 79th SSC as he took command.
“I look forward to serving with you as we take the first steps in writing a new page in the storied 79th’s history book, I will ensure well-trained, fully-manned, best-equipped and best-led units deploy into combat. That is my pledge to you.”