FORT LEE, Va. (August 26, 2010)- The U.S. Army Transportation Corps and School has a new commanding general and a new home.
Brig. Gen. Edward F. Dorman III took over the wheel of Fort Lee’s newest tenant and uncased its Corps and Regimental Colors in a ceremony held Aug. 18 at the Transportation School auditorium.
Brig. Gen. Jesse R. Cross, Combined Arms Support Command, Sustainment Center of Excellence commanding general and Quartermaster General, hosted the ceremony in which Brig. Gen. Brian R. Layer relinquished his position as Chief of Transportation and commandant of the Transportation School.
The ceremony also marked the official arrival of the School and Corps headquarters element from its former location at Fort Eustis.
About 300 people attended the ceremony in the dimly-lit auditorium of the School headquarters, the former Quartermaster Noncommissioned Officer Academy that underwent an extensive renovation.
Cross, in his usual upbeat tone, lauded Layer and his wife Ella’s accomplishments and welcomed into the fold Dorman and his wife, Lynn.
“No command team is more qualified or capable of following the Layers at the Transportation School,” he said during his remarks.
Dorman, who comes to the schoolhouse from the U.S. Transportation Command’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., thanked Layer for his support and said his command is something that will be guided in part by Soldiers and the sacrifices they make daily.
“I’ve seen and experienced our great regimental troopers firsthand in the battle space, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and the Pacific, across the globe in the harshest of conditions and inhospitable environment,” he said. “They showed unique courage and innovation to meet the challenge of the day. They are simply amazing ….”
Reflecting on the challenges the Corps faces, Dorman said it is essential to continue reaching beyond the standard.
“It is imperative to refine our systems and processes to improve transportation and distribution support to the joint expeditionary force as we continue and seek the balance of current and future requirements,” he said. “For the Transportation Regiment, that means that we must produce the right Soldiers with the right skills at the right time for a growing and transforming Army on the move while simultaneously ensuring the resiliency of our Soldiers, civilians and Families.”
Layer, who held his post two years, thanked his staff and the Soldiers and civilians who helped to make his tenure a productive one, one in which he was required to juggle the operational demands of the Corps with its Base Realignment and Closure-mandated relocation to Fort Lee.
Nevertheless, the West Point graduate seemed to be especially proud of one accomplishment: the creation of Convoy Protection Platoons and noted them during his remarks. The platoons have been implemented Army-wide into truck companies and came about as a result of hundreds of attacks upon transportation convoys during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It took a great effort by the entire SCoE community,” he said of the implementation. “It will ensure that we will always have the platform, weapons, communications and equipment and training to maintain that capability, so the next time we go to war, we won’t have to figure it out in route.”
Layer’s next stop is Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., where he will take over as deputy commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command.
Dorman, who was promoted earlier in the day, faces various challenges in his new tenure. Army Transformation and various initiatives that will support the war effort all will consume his schedule over the next few years. He said, however, that he is confident that the Corps will succeed just as it has done in the past.
“The Corps is doing more and has done more the past decade than at any time before,” he said. “We are an integral part of the battle space and we’ve inherited a pivotal role in the wartime conflicts, domestic operations and humanitarian assistance operations.
“The game starts once anything arrives, and we all know that it’s not just equipment, not just systems, not just people, it’s a will to win and that’s what the Corps brings. The Army depends on us and we must, we absolutely must deliver and deliver we will.”
The Transportation Corps, one of the smallest in the Army, was established in 1942. It is responsible for moving the Army’s troops, equipment and supplies via various modes of transportation that include motor transport, rail and sea. Its motto, “Spearhead of Logistics,” sometimes gives way to the oft-quoted slogan, “Nothing Happens Until Something Moves,” a more casual and practical description of the Corps’ capabilities.
The Transportation School serves to train Soldiers, civilians and others in transportation skills and functions. Although the schoolhouse has relocated here at Fort Lee, many Transportation military occupation specialties will be taught elsewhere: all the marine-related and railway MOSs will remain at Fort Eustis and the motor transport operator course continues to be taught at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
When the school is fully operational at Fort Lee, the Transportation School will train more than 3,000 students annually.