The 23rd Quartermaster Brigade bid farewell to Col. Paul N. Fortuné, and welcomed its new commander, Col. Terence J. Hildner, in a ceremony Friday.
“It is an immense honor for me today to join the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade team,” said Hildner. “I salute you for your remarkable reputation. I look forward to the many challenges and opportunities that we will share together.”
Hildner comes to Fort Lee after relinquishing command of the 13th Corps Support Command’s Special Troops Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas. During his command, the battalion conducted two deployments, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
“An experienced commander, an experienced leader and a dedicated Army Family that knows how to take care of people,” said Brig. Gen. Mark A. Bellini, Quartermaster Center and School commanding general.
During Fortuné’s tenure as commander, he was instrumental in the development of the drill sergeant pilot program, received the TRADOC Brigade Award for Re-enlistment, and spearheaded the effort that saw the Logistics Warrior Training Cell transfer to Fort AP Hill.
In 1999, he served as commander of the 49th Special Troops Battalion, 49th QM Group. As brigade commander, Bellini said Fortuné’s commitment to helping service members was a testament to not only his character, but the responsibility of a leader to appreciate the human dimension of taking care of troops.
“Paul got here a little bit before I did, but I tried to add up how many Soldiers and Marines came through our doors during his tenure as brigade commander,” said Bellini. “It’s almost 50,000 people, and I know for a fact that he has talked to everyone of those 50,000. He’s always been there for them, and always found the time to help people.”
Fortuné thanked the Soldiers and Marines of the Quartermaster Center and School, the 23rd QM Brigade and 392nd Army Band for taking the field during the ceremony for the pass in review and inspection of troops.
“The majority of these Soldiers are advanced individual training Soldiers and because they perform like seasoned veterans, it’s easy to forget that these young troops are about 90 days into their Army careers,” said Fortuné. “Very impressive performance. They are the future of our Quartermaster Corps and our great Army.”
Fortuné also emphasized the human element of leadership, and said fostering relationships with Soldiers is the key element to good leadership.
“This has been true throughout my military career,” said Fortuné. “Today is not about me, but about the men and women serving our nation every day. I am proud to have served with them.”