Largest Army Reserve command in Texas says farewell to Commanding General

By Staff Sgt. Nina Ramon | 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command | July 15, 2016

July 9, 2016 — JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, FORT SAM HOUSTON – As the sun rises on a hot summer day in Central Texas, a formation of Soldiers stand tall on historic MacArthur Parade Field located in the center of the military base.

Each year the parade field - named after Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, father of the legendary World War II veteran General Douglas MacArthur – hosts a slew of events from base-wide flea market and yard sales, Easter egg hunts and holiday tree lightings, to numerous time-honored military events.

This summer, the parade field is the location where Brig. Gen. Kenneth D. Jones said farewell as he relinquishes command of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).  The ceremony took place hot on the heels of the command’s return from a year-long deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Brig. Gen. Jones, a Texas native from Bryan, took command of the 4th ESC May 2015, just a month before the command deployed.

“Just over 14 months ago,” said Jones.  “I was given the honor and privilege to command this organization, deploy overseas and lead these great American Soldiers on one of the most intellectually challenging and wickedly difficult missions that I have ever witnessed or been associated with in my military career.”

The command’s recent deployment spread their Soldiers throughout operations in Qatar, Jordan, UAE, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Kuwait. The logistical command fell under the 1st Theatre Support Command providing services such as supplies and equipment to over 20,000 United States and 60,000 coalition forces.

Honored guests at the ceremony included, Maj. Gen. Mark W. Palzer, Commanding General, 79th Sustainment Support Command, Maj. Gen. (retired) Luis Visot, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Reserve Command and Brig. Gen. Richard J. Torres, Deputy Commanding General Director, U.S. Army South.

During his emotional speech, Jones continually praised his Soldiers for their valiancy and unwavering dedication during their deployment and assured them the command was in good hands under the leadership of Col. Herman Ter Meer who was chosen to be the 4th ESC’s interim commander.

He said with a tone of reassurance, “Col. Ter Meer will lead this great organization forward till the new commander arrives.”

“Soldiers I assure you he will not let you down,” Jones added.  
As Jones concluded his remarks, he reminded the Soldiers to take their jobs and responsibilities seriously but not to take themselves too seriously.

“Never settle for anything less than your best effort,” said Jones. “Our nation will always need Soldiers like you! Soldiers who care! Soldiers who are willing to put their beliefs into action!”   

The 4th ESC, a subordinate command of the 79th SSC, is comprised of 54 subordinate units, commanding more than 5,500 Soldiers throughout Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The command, deemed the Army Reserve’s premier logistic sustainment command, provides trained and ready forces in support of global contingency operations.