FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers and family members bid farewell to the 13th Financial Management Support Center during an inactivation ceremony at the Soldier Ministry Center on Fort Hood Dec. 5.
The 13th FMSC, a 42-soldier unit which fell under the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was originally constituted as the 13th Finance Section in 1942 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind.
Through its more than 70 years of active service, the unit has served in operations in World War II, Vietnam, Bosnia, Germany, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, with their most recent deployment in Kuwait.
The unit’s last tour was during the period Sept. 17, 2012, to June 16, 2013. The 13th Financial Management Support Center served as the technical coordinator of all theater finance operations while serving as the principal adviser to the Third Army/United States Army Central (USARCENT) G-8 and the 1st Theater Sustainment Command commander on all aspects of theater financial operations.
“Anytime you inactivate a unit, it is a gloomy day,” said Lt. Col. Ralph Crum, director, 13th Financial Management Support Center. “However, we tend to be the ‘break the glass’ force; whenever the Army needs to beef up its finance, the first unit that gets called up is the 13th Finance.”
During the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters, Jr., the commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command, spoke of the heritage and accomplishments of the 13th FMSC.
“It’s important to have a ceremony like this to celebrate the end of a unit’s existence in active status,” said LeMasters. “What’s going to happen, we never know. The colors are being cased and they’ll go back into the archives of the Army where they’ll wait for the next call.”
LeMasters also asked each of the unit’s remaining personnel to stand and he along with the crowd in attendance praised the soldiers for their contributions to the unit’s rich history.
“I’ve seen many units inactivate; I’ve seen many units activate,” he said. “What I want you to remember, is the role each of you played in the history of this unit, no matter how long you served.”
With the inactivation of the 13th FMSC, the allotted personnel slots for the financial management soldiers will be redistributed throughout other units.
“The Army doesn’t lose those 42 positions, it allows us to take those soldiers and move them into resource management roles within the brigades,” said Crum. “The Army doesn’t lose its financial strength, just reallocates it.”