Even the hottest day this summer could not keep the large number of guests, Soldiers, civilian employees and families from attending the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s change of command ceremony at the sports field on Daenner Kaserne.
During the ceremony, they wished their former commanding general, Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, and his wife, Kathy Fontaine, a fond farewell and also met and welcomed their new commanding general, Brig. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, and her husband, Leif Johnson.
The ceremony on Aug. 20, which began with a cannon salute and a joint troop inspection, was hosted by Gen. Carter F. Ham, commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army.
After passing the command’s colors to Brigadier General McQuistion, General Ham acknowledged the “accomplishments of the Fontaine command team.”
“General Fontaine, the Soldiers and civilian employees of the 21st TSC have truly benefited from your leadership,” General Ham said. “You transformed the 21st TSC into a unit of warriors focused on supporting Soldiers. Soldiers and commanders alike know the 21st will deliver the right stuff to the right place at the right time.”
General Ham also found words of appreciation for “the better half of the Fontaine command team.”
“To Kathy Fontaine, we also owe our appreciation. A true leader and mentor to family readiness group leaders and family members, her dedication to Soldiers and families is evident in her many volunteer activities,” he said.
Additionally, General Ham encouraged and welcomed the new commander.
“To Brigadier General McQuistion, welcome to Germany and the 21st TSC. You have inherited a command with a workforce that has an expeditionary mindset and a ‘can do’ attitude,” he said. “I know that you will prepare them for the inevitable challenges that lay ahead. I wish you the best of luck and know you will do well.”
When Major General Fontaine took the microphone, he expressed his gratitude to all who participated in the change of command ceremony and emphasized that leaving a command is not easy.
“Well, the moment any commander dreads has come – the time to relinquish command, and it is with sadness that Kathy and I and our daughter, Genevieve, leave because we have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this fantastic organization – an organization that accomplishes its missions on a daily basis without much fanfare, without much accolades but to perfection all while taking time to care for families,” he said.
Major General Fontaine will next serve as the commander of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in Rock Island, Ill.
Brigadier General McQuistion joins the 21st TSC from the Defense Supply Center Columbus headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, where she served as the commanding general for the past two years.
She, too, thanked the Soldiers on the field and noted that the command’s “tremendous reputation” as the premier sustainment command had been recounted to her numerous times since being selected for the command post.
“I am committed to maintaining this reputation,” she said.