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New leader

By 1st Lt. Kyle Thomas | | July 14, 2011

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Major general vows to continue supporting warfighters

Marine Corps Logistics Command received a new commanding general during a ceremony conducted at Schmid Field, here July 7.

Maj. Gen. Charles L.  Hudson, who came from the Logistics Combat Element, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, assumed command as Maj. Gen. James A. Kessler passed the guidon in the presence of fellow service members, families and friends.

Onlookers, shielded from direct sunlight by red tents, had a chance to watch the Albany Marine Band march and perform as a part of the ceremony.

Every company of Marines that fell under Logistics Command was represented and took part in the ceremony. Numerous military vehicles, examples of equipment that Logistics Command repairs, refurbishes and distributes, flanked the parade field.

Shortly after assuming his responsibilities, Hudson addressed the Marines and civilian-Marines he will now lead.

“Our focus is going to be on supporting the warfighter,” Hudson said. “This is a pretty awesome responsibility. My family and I are very excited.”

He focused on Logistics Command’s mission and that he was well prepared to assume his new role.

“It is a tremendous opportunity professionally,” Hudson said. “I have spent a great deal at the tactical level and now I am coming into operational logistics. That is something I have not experienced before, but the tactical background I have has given me a foundation to build upon. I think we are in for some exciting times.”

Hudson added that although this may be a different part of the Marine Corps than he is used to, there is nothing different about getting the job done or taking care of those he is responsible for.

“In my 30-plus years in the Marine Corps, it has always been about accomplishing the mission and taking care of Marines,” he said. “This is a little bit different of an environment. There are very few uniformed members here. However, the commandant considers every person who works for the Marine Corps to be Marines.” 

The newly-arrived commanding general graduated from the Citadel in 1981 and subsequently received a commission as a second lieutenant.

Hudson explained that his leadership style is a result of his childhood as well as his Marine Corps experiences. 

“My father retired from the Army in the mid-sixties,” he said. “His rise to chief warrant officer over a 27-year career influenced how I serve our Marines to this day very much. It’s a different perspective I think others might not have. I have a total of 32 years in the Marine Corps and have been very fortunate to deploy on numerous occasions and engage in combat operations since my second lieutenant days.”

Hudson noted that Logistics Command should prepare itself to overcome fiscal restraints as well as accomplish the approaching retrograde mission out of Afghanistan.

“We have an opportunity to make a difference for the Marine Corps for the next 20 years as we reset the force,” he said.

Kessler will become assistant commandant of facilities in Washington, D.C.

Reflecting on his time with Logistics Command, the former commanding general said it is bittersweet moving to a higher position of responsibility as well as leaving those he and his wife have grown close to.

“We have very mixed feelings.” Kessler said. “I hate to leave the command. My wife and I have gotten very comfortable here. We enjoy this area; we enjoy the people and we have made some tremendous friends that I believe are friends for life. From that aspect, we are sad to leave this job. On the other hand, it’s on to new and exciting things up in Washington. It’s always intriguing to start something new.”

He added the most rewarding part of being the commanding general of Logistics Command was both supporting the warfighter overseas as well as working with great people.

“The type of work we do in support of the warfighter, particularly when we are at war, is extremely rewarding,” Kessler said. “We have a very strong belief that what we do here at Marine Corps Logistics Command has a direct impact on the Marine Corps’ ability to do its job in combat.”

Kessler also had a message for the community.

“I think in 31 years of moving around the Marine Corps, my wife, Debbi, and I have never been more warmly welcomed than we were here,” he said.

“That has been extremely rewarding and a great opportunity for us,” Kessler added. “I also feel very good about where I’m leaving Logistics Command; knowing full well General Hudson coming in behind me will have plenty of opportunities to do all kinds of great things during his tenure here.”


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