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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

1st TSC kicks off holiday season with annual tree lighting ceremony

By Barbara Gersna | 1st Theater Sustainment Command | December 13, 2023


Not even The Grinch could foil the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s seven-year tradition of lighting a holiday tree in front of Fowler Hall to kick off the season of celebrations.

Soldiers, Families, and Civilian employees joined hosts, Brig. Gen. Eric P. Shirley, commander, 1st TSC, and Command Sgt. Maj. Albert E. Richardson Jr., senior enlisted advisor, 1st TSC, in the annual event.

Each staff section presented their homemade ornament and placed it on the large tree, with the G-4 section winning this year’s title for best ornament. Shirley then took the opportunity to thank teammates.

“First, I’d like to thank the Soldiers and all the volunteers who helped make this event possible. Without you, this could not happen,” Shirley said.

He then presented several awards to the various volunteers who organized the event.

The commanding general thanked Family members for their continued support and asked everyone to remember 1st TSC members currently deployed and their Families this holiday season and always.

Children then joined Shirley and Albertson in singing several holiday carols.

On cue with “Here Comes Santa Claus,” a brightly decorated and well illuminated Jeep slowly approached the crowd, carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus who promptly joined Shirley, Richardson, and all the First Team children.

Once they lit the tree, a green intruder immediately turned off the lights in an act of mischief. This went on again, and again, until The Grinch finally found his heart and embraced the holiday spirit. He was so inspired by the togetherness and Army Family unity displayed that he stopped his sneaky sabotage and joined the party.

The 100th Army Band, a U.S. Army Reserve unit based on Fort Knox, played seasonal music while Soldiers and Families shared in the festive mood while sampling several varieties of holiday food. Families took pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the unit’s mascot, Staff Sgt. Blackjack - the live pony mule.

This family event kicked off the holiday season in December and brought together all the Families in 1st TSC. The commanding general asked everyone to reflect on the enormity and the vital impact of our mission.

“Although it is certainly a daunting task, each of you makes it look easy, day in and day out, through your character, selflessness and commitment to duty,” Shirley said.

As Shirley complimented the assembled crowd, he urged everyone to stay connected and ensure that they, “Keep our deployed teammates and their families in our thoughts as we spend time with ours.”