CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Mary Katzenberger
3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Brig. Gen. Lance G. Curtis, commanding general, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, hosted a tactical dining-in here, Mar. 26, 2022.
“Spears Ready” Soldiers donned their Improved Outer Tactical Vests—minus the ballistic plates—and their Advanced Combat Helmets to enjoy a formal program in honor of their military heritage.
“Tonight, have fun, but remember that one of your charters as leaders and as Soldiers is to maintain the Army’s customs and traditions,” Curtis said in his opening remarks.
“I want you—when you’re a sergeant, when you’re a captain, when you’re a major, a battalion commander, a brigade commander, wherever you may go—I want you to keep alive the history of the dining-in,” the general said. “We’re always one generation away from these customs and traditions perishing, and we ought not to let that happen.”
Curtis said besides honoring military heritage, he wanted to provide his Soldiers the opportunity to take a knee.
“Spears Ready” Soldiers have been deployed here since August of 2021 staffing the 1st Theater Sustainment Command operational command post. Serving in that capacity, the unit has helped maintain and has generated sustainment operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
“We have knocked it out of the park, it is very evident to me,” the general said. “Our reputation within the 3rd ESC, and within the 1st TSC, is rock solid.
“It is very, very hard to earn that reputation,” Curtis continued. “Be proud of your family name and protect your personal reputation, and then protect your unit reputation—it’s hard to earn, and super easy to lose.”
The formal program included toasts with water, a fallen Soldier commemoration, limericks, a meal, and an awards and recognition ceremony.
Nine “Spears Ready” Soldiers received regimental awards, including Master Sgt. Jamel C. Fulks, senior enlisted advisor, 3rd ESC.
Fulks received the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps’ Honorable Order of Saint Martin after Lt. Col. Jason A. Foreman, Sgt. Maj. Jeovannie Melendez-Morales, Maj. Kara R. McNeil, Staff Sgt. Dillon M. Murray, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Iesha T. Hayes, Sgt. 1st Class Ana M. Zapata, Lt. Col. Robert D. Hales, and Sgt. 1st Class Justin M. Ward were recognized for their contributions to their regiments.
Before the colors were retired, Curtis held an informal farewell for Col. Fenicia L. Jackson, chief of staff, 3rd ESC. The lights were dimmed and a video that highlighted the colonel’s time in the unit was shown.
After a standing ovation at the conclusion of the video, the colonel expressed her appreciation for the support she has received.
“I only hope that I treated everyone with dignity and respect from day to day, I only hope that if you needed my attention that I gave it to you when you asked for it, and I only hope that you all continue to support the next chief of staff and the next chain of command how you have supported me,” the colonel said. “I want to say thank you to each and every last one of you, it would be a pleasure of mine if I could serve with any of you and do it all over again.”
Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth R. Grace, a petroleum operations noncommissioned officer for 3rd ESC, said she was grateful for the opportunity to attend an event of this caliber.
“I’ve been in the Army for 15 years, and this is the first dining-in that I have experienced,” Grace said. “As Brigadier General Curtis said, this is how we keep traditions alive.
“The foundation of a lot of the things we do in the military comes from tradition, so it’s important to relive them when given the chance,” the sergeant first class continued. “It also gave us the opportunity to celebrate a few of the great leaders in our organization and just bring everyone together for some much needed laughs.”
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