News: 3rd ESC commander promoted to brigadier general
Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – On May 6, Col. Kristin K. French, commanding general of the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
French, who took over as commander of the 3rd ESC in June of 2011, was promoted during the ceremony by Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command. French and the 3rd ESC deployed to Afghanistan last month and assumed the duties of Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan.
With her promotion, French becomes the third female general officer to lead the 3rd ESC, and said that she was honored to be promoted by a mentor and take command of JSC - A.
“First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you for coming out today. It’s an honor to for me to have you all here to represent all of the military; the soldiers, NCO’s and officers that I’ve served with over my career,” said French. “I couldn’t ask for a better group to be serving with in Afghanistan than all of you.”
French, a 1986 graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., took the opportunity to thank “Mi Familia” during her speech. This family reference used by French, refers to the support she’s received from her hometown family in New Jersey, West Point family, Army family and immediate family.
As a special addition to the event, French’s husband and children, several Fort Knox leaders and spouses, and some of the 3rd ESC rear detachment members watched the promotion via video teleconference at the command’s Fort Knox headquarters.
A member of the sixth female class to graduate from West Point, French said that she really learned about duty, honor and country from the institution. She said that she arrived at the institution not knowing a lot about the military or what she was getting herself into, but now beams with pride about her experience.
“I loved being there and love serving our country,” said French. “I will never forget the sense of duty, honor and country that my leaders instilled in me at West Point.”
A 26 year Army veteran, French has had numerous assignments throughout her career. Since receiving her commission in 1986, she has served in command positions at the company, battalion and brigade levels prior to taking command of the 3rd ESC. She has deployed on operational assignments to Croatia, Kuwait and Iraq before this tour in Afghanistan. Most recently, she served as the executive officer to the director, Defense Logistics Agency and military adviser to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Material Readiness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
According to McQuistion, French is well trained and qualified for her current position and rank, and should look forward to more success in the future.
“Kristin, with the amount of experience that you bring, there is no doubt that you’re the right person at the right time for this job,” said McQuistion. “You’ve been acting with the depth and effect of a general officer for quite a while now so it’s great to be able to finally pin it on your chest.”
Last, but not least, French thanked her immediate family for whom she credits for much of her success. A married, mother of two, French thanked her children for their ability to be flexible and continue to excel while she and husband, retired Lt. Col. Rick French, pursued their careers as soldiers.
Overall, French said that her promotion to brigadier general was special and that she’s looking forward to the months ahead as she and the 3rd ESC support the soldiers of the United States Forces - Afghanistan.
“I’ve had very professional people work with me and I’ve learned so much from all of them,” said French. “I really thank all of my soldiers, peers and superiors for their support throughout my years of service.”