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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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CG receives second star

By Marti Gatlin | | August 19, 2010

The commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Command was promoted to the rank of major general during a ceremony Friday in front of Bldg. 3500.

Maj. Gen. James A. Kessler received his second star as Lt. Gen. Frank A. Panter Jr., deputy commandant, Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps, presided over the ceremony.

Panter, assisted by Kessler’s wife, Debbi, pinned his new rank on his collar in front of fellow Marines, civilian-Marines, families and friends.

Kessler, who has served as LOGCOM’s commanding general since June 29, 2009, watched as a new major general flag was raised above LOGCOM’s headquarters building.

Before Kessler received his second star, Panter said the promotion ceremony was “a great day for the Marine Corps Logistics Command, a great day for the United States Marine Corps, a great day for Albany and Southwest Georgia.”

The deputy commandant illustrated what it means to be a major general in the Marine Corps and how Kessler earned his new rank through his exceptional leadership, technical skills and work ethic throughout his numerous assignments.

Panter also stressed it’s important to have family support. He said Kessler’s wife, Debbi, endured all of the assignments, and in many ways, sacrificed more than her husband.

The lieutenant general described many of Kessler’s tours and said he first met him in Okinawa when Kessler was the commander, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 3rd Fleet Service Support Group, and Camp Commander, Camp Kinser, Marine Corps Base Japan in June 2003.

Panter added that Kessler’s current role is very important.

“This is a strategic capability now for our nation,” he said. “It is critical in the readiness sake of our Marine Corps today. It is critical in our reset efforts. It is critical in our reconstitution efforts … because of the great return we get on having Marine Corps Logistics Command and because of the impressive workforce. The quality of the workforce here is absolutely superb and that is known. This is such a critical asset to the commandant, General (James T.) Conway, who pays attention to daily activities and constantly asks me, ‘What’s up with LOGCOM? What are they doing this week?’”

Panter also commended the Kesslers for taking care of young Marines and families.

“Foremost in his heart (and) foremost in Debbi’s heart was always that young Marine and that’s the way it should be,” he said.

Kessler thanked his wife for her support as well

as the LOGCOM, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Albany communities’ members and local, state and federal dignitaries or representatives for attending the ceremony.

“Those of us (who) are blessed enough to have families behind us (who) support us in what we do and are understanding of those things that frequently challenge us to the family, when I talk about that stuff I talk about it from a position of experience. Debbi, thank you for your continued support,” he said.

Kessler emphasized what receiving his second star meant to him.

“What the promotion means for me is an opportunity to continue to serve,” he said. “It’s humbling the leadership of the Marine Corps feels I’ve got something perhaps I can offer in that service. That is really what it’s about is the ability to continue to serve Marines, and most especially in this assignment, our civilian-Marines and I am very grateful I am able to continue that service.”

The new major general added there’s no other place he’d rather be than with LOGCOM.

“What’s going on in the world today and the role Marine Corps Logistics Command plays in that is just an incredibly exciting place to be and it going to get even more exciting,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunities that present themselves here at this command.”

During a reception at the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Club after the promotion ceremony, Abiodun Ojemakinde, Ph. D.,vice president, Office for Academic Affairs, Albany State University, presented Kessler with a certificate from Everette Freeman, president, Albany State University, congratulating him on his milestone.