MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- A leader in Albany's military community moved up in rank Friday.
The commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Command received his second star. Maj. Gen. James Kessler received it at a promotion ceremony aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.
Immediately after receiving the new rank, Kessler said he was extremely honored.
"(This promotion) means an opportunity to continue to serve with Marines, specifically in this assignment, civilian Marines," the major general said. "There is no other place in the Marine Corps I'd rather be than right here.
"It's a lot of fun being here."
There to promote Kessler was Lt. Gen. Frank Panter, deputy commandant for installations and logistics at Headquarters Marine Corps.
"It's a great day for Marine Corps Logistics Command, a great day for the Marine Corps and a great day for Southwest Georgia," Panter said during his remarks.
Before officially promoting Kessler, Panter explained to those attending the ceremony what it takes to become a major general.
"It's about showing exceptional leadership," he said. "(A major general) will be a partner that will endure assignments and make sacrifices. It's about knowing technical skills and it's about going where your commandant tells you to go."
As visitors to the base before him have done, Panter also touched on what role LOGCOM has in keeping the Corps running.
"I can't tell you what an important job this is," the lieutenant general said of Kessler's current position. "This (the command) is such a critical asset to the commandant (of the Marine Corps).
"Any chance I have to visit LOGCOM, I use it, and I exercise that right when I can."
Speaking with reporters following the ceremony, Kessler followed the same vein.
"What I'm proudest of here is the work force," he said. "Throughout the command, the work force has been phenomenal."
A native of Mountlake Terrace, Wash., Kessler was commissioned a second lieutenant from the University of Washington in Seattle in July 1980.
While assigned to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, then-Capt. Kessler was deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Upon his return, he reported for duty as an inspector with the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office.
In 1999, while a lieutenant colonel, Kessler assumed command of the Defense Distribution Center in Barstow, Calif. Following that, he was selected to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
The leadership positions Kessler has held, even the trials and tribulations, have made him worthy of this promotion. This is an assessment that comes from those that have worked with him directly, including the general who promoted him.
"All of his assignments where extremely difficult," Panter said of Kessler's career. "When he was handed a leadership experience, he accepted it.
"At the lieutenant colonel rank, it was obvious that he showed leadership qualities."
Kessler assumed his current post in June 2009 with the rank of brigadier general. He holds advanced degrees in military studies from Marine Corps University, a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a master of science in national resource strategy from Industrial College of the Armed Forces.