From one Army officer to another, Brig. Gen. Charles R. Hamilton assumed command of Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support from Brig. Gen. Steven A. Shapiro at a change of command ceremony July 13 in Philadelphia.
By tradition, DLA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Andy Busch passed the DLA flag from Shapiro to Hamilton during the ceremony, symbolizing a transition of organizational responsibilities. Family, friends, colleagues and industry partners were among those in attendance.
Busch told Hamilton he will have to demonstrate the same patience and trust Shapiro exhibited during his tenure as DLA Troop Support commander.
“Your time here has gone well,” Busch said to Shapiro. “DLA Troop Support has really answered the call: warfighters first. You’ve taken care of your people, you’ve helped build bench strength, [and] with your patience and trust, you’ve helped them do the jobs they know how to do.”
Busch praised Shapiro for his numerous contributions to the organization, including his role in Operation United Assistance support, implementing medical contracts that will save the organization nearly $2 billion combined, and setting in motion a program to prepare future leaders.
Shapiro said leaving the organization was bittersweet for him, because he often felt more like a member of a team rather than a commander.
“This is the greatest team of individuals I’ve ever met who provides support to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines,” Shapiro said. “Making me a member of your team has been one of the greatest highlights of my 30-year career.”
Shapiro and Hamilton both deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and have known each other throughout their Army careers.
“You’re getting probably the best officer I know in the U.S. Army today,” Shapiro said about Hamilton. “You just have a great reputation; the workforce and vendors are truly blessed to have you come on board. Now that you’re in charge, I wish I was staying.”
Hamilton said he always wanted to come to DLA Troop Support because of its reputation. He served as executive officer to the DLA vice director, commander of a DLA contingency support team in Afghanistan, and planner in DLA Headquarters Operations in the early 2000s.
“[DLA Troop Support] is very warfighter focused,” Hamilton said. “Having been on the receiving end many times of this great support, we’ll continue to build on that.”
Hamilton joined DLA Troop Support after serving as executive officer to Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics Lt. Gen. Gustave F. Perna, a former DLA Troop Support commander who also attended the ceremony. Shapiro will now work with Perna as the assistant deputy chief of staff in Washington, D.C.
Both incoming and outgoing commanders received promotions anchoring the ceremony, with Hamilton becoming brigadier general July 10, and Shapiro being pinned major general by family members immediately following the change of command ceremony.
“Your promotion to major general is certainly well deserved,” Busch said. “If your service is selfless like Steve’s, you’ll wind up where he’s at.”
During the ceremony, Shapiro and Hamilton thanked their families for their continued support.