To provide a source of inspiration to all who serve under the 13th Sustainment Command, the unit’s parade field was rededicated in honor of its former commander Friday.
Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, took command of the unit in July 2010 and deployed with it in December 2011 for the 13th’s first mission to Afghanistan. In February, he died of natural causes.
“I served with Gen. Hildner and he was a dedicated commander,” said Col. Knowles Atchison, former deputy commander of the “Lucky 13th.”
Previously known as Guidon Field to represent each of the command’s units, the parade field where soldiers deploy and commanders are welcomed will now be known as the Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner Field.
“We do it because he’s a symbol of ... a professional soldier,” said Atchison.
During a ceremony last week, attended by members of the Hildner family, III Corps and Fort Hood Commander Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr. said the dedication was not so that those who knew Hildner would remember him, but so those that didn’t could know of his character, leadership style and love of family.
“He lived the warrior ethos in every aspect of his life,” said Campbell. “From this day forward, all who pass this field will know he had a unique relationship and impact on this unit, III Corps and the Army.”
Hildner’s time as the 13th’s commander wasn’t his first stop at Fort Hood. He also served as a battalion commander of the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion from 2004 to 2007. He led the battalion through a deployment to Iraq and to provide support after Hurricane Katrina.
Atchison said he hopes that as soldiers pass the plaque with Hildner’s name and photo, they will be inspired.
“Every real leader leads from the front,” he said. “Gen. Hildner always led from the front. You can’t lead from the front unless you lead by example.”
The field dedication was the culminating event of the command’s birthday week. The celebration is a partnership between the active duty soldiers currently serving in the unit and its alumni group, the 13th COSCOM Association. Events included a golf tournament, family fun run and a dinner.
“It marks tradition,” said Capt. Michael Maternick, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
For the young soldiers in the unit, he said they can learn the history and take pride and ownership of it.
“It can also encourage soldiers to be a part of organizations like 13th COSCOM or (the Association of the U.S. Army),” said Maternick. “It’s great to see those partnerships.”
Contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.