September 25, 2016 –
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif – On a clear and brilliant morning, Maj. Gen. Nickolas Tooliatos relinquished command of the 63rd Regional Support Command to incoming commander Maj. Gen. Brian Alvin, during a change of command ceremony, Sept. 25, at Moffett Field, Mountain, View, Calif.
Tooliatos retired from the Army Reserve following the ceremony, the last three of his 36 years of service years spent commanding the 63rd RSC.
The ceremony featured the full regalia and pageantry of such a ceremony, with a 21-gun cannon salute and pass and review of massed 63rd RSC units present for the event.
Overseeing the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon, deputy commanding general (support), U.S. Army Reserve Command, who praised the ceremony for its regalia and splendor, which captured the essence of being in the Army Reserve.
“This change of command reminds of when I say it’s a great day to be in the Army … but it’s one of the 365 days a year it’s a great day to be in the Army,” Lennon said. “What you’ve just witnessed is something unique: the organized and planned transition of command. Not many Armies of the world are able to claim that.”
Lennon praised Tooliatos for his job as commanding general and said he displayed all the traits necessary to lead a command that oversees a seven-state region and 44,000 Soldiers.
“You’ve exercised creativity, discipline, professionalism and done it with pride,” Lennon said to Tooliatos. “We’re charged with caring about Soldiers and you’ve cared about Soldiers, both you and your spouse (Joni).”
Lennon said the 63rd RSC is gaining a superb leader in Alvin, who he’s known for years and is ready to take the responsibility of leading the command.
“Brian has the right training, the right experience and the right temperament to lead this organization,” Lennon said. “He has big boots to fill, but I know he’s the right man for it.”
In his farewell speech Tooliatos thanked everyone who helped make his three years at the 63rd RSC successful and said the organization isn’t about him, but rather the Soldiers and civilians working for the command.
“I’m proud of you all. I am so grateful to you for the service that you give,” Tooliatos said. “It’s not just about the Soldiers in formation, but also the 1500 civilians who make up the bulk of the organization. It’s on the back of those civilians that we come in and do our Soldiering.”
Tooliatos said it’s been a privilege to lead and command the 63rd RSC and said he considers everyone in the organization a part of his family.
“I’ve always talked about how important it is for our team to come together as a family and I’m proud to say that three years and a few months into this, our team has become a family,” an emotional Tooliatos said. “We’ve all come together and become a formidable fighting force. I’m proud of you for meeting that challenge.”
Tooliatos said he couldn’t be any prouder of the Soldiers on the parade field, reflecting the best the nation has to offer in difficult times.
“You can look at the news and the world today and you can be a little disappointed by some of the things that we see going on in society,” he said. “You can focus on the negative things, but the things I focus on is everything that’s right – and everything that’s right is on display in front of you on this parade field.”
During his introductory speech as new commanding general, Alvin said he looked forward to continuing the job done by Tooliatos, who helped grow the 63rd RSC to new heights.
“It’s indeed an honor to take charge of this historic command from Major General Tooliatos, who for the last three years has led the 63d RSC to unparalleled heights,” Alvin said. “There is no doubt that he and his team have done an outstanding job in positioning the 63d RSC as an enduring part of the overall operational force within the Army Reserve.”
Alvin said he hopes to make a similar impact as commanding general.
“I take command on this historic day with the desire to make an equally lasting impact here. I believe training should be tough and build team spirit,” he said. “I believe in the concept of hard work, dedication and loyalty. For myself, developing unit cohesiveness between our vast array of uniformed Soldiers and civilians is essential.”
Alvin promised the 63rd RSC would receive the best possible training and be ready to fight the nations wars.
“My promise to you is one of utmost dedication … the dedication it takes to properly take care of Soldiers and prepare them to fight this nations wars and ensure they have the necessary tools to fight these wars,” Alvin continued.
He said he readily accepts the task of leading the command’s citizen Soldiers and looks forward to the job ahead.
“The 63d RSC provides 44,000 volunteers and today I accept the responsibility of leading them into yet another phase of its storied history,” Alvin concluded.