MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- A setting of Southwest Georgia summer weather and gun salutes greeted the new boss at Marine Corps Logistics Command Thursday.
Maj. Gen. James Kessler relinquished command of LOGCOM to Maj. Gen. Chuck Hudson at a change-of-command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.
Hudson, who initially came to Albany as a brigadier general, was promoted to his present rank in a closed ceremony just before the change-of-command. Prior to taking command of LOGCOM, he was the commanding general for the 1st Marine Logistics Group in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
"The mission of LOGCOM is to make sure we support the warfighter," the incoming general said. "This is a tremendous opportunity. My operational background has prepared me well."
The second star Hudson received Thursday itself gives an indication of what lies ahead.
"This is a pretty awesome responsibility," he said. "My family and I are very excited."
Hudson, originally from Atlanta, was commissioned in 1981 after graduating from The Citadel. He was subsequently assigned to the 2nd Force Service Support Group where he served as a platoon commander and detachment commander with the 2nd Landing Support Battalion and Marine Amphibious Unit Service Support Group 22.
He has participated in operations conducted in Grenada, Lebanon, the Arabian Gulf, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hudson is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Marine Corps War College. In addition to a master in military studies and a master of strategic studies, he holds a master of science degree in human resource management.
He comes to Southwest Georgia with his wife and three teenage daughters.
Kessler, a native of Mountlake Terrace, Wash., was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1980. Prior to his service in Albany, he was in command of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Kessler has said publicly that is it perhaps the people he will miss the most, given the hospitable attitudes he has encountered since coming to Albany in June 2009.
"For folks that live here they feel it's that way everywhere, but it isn't," he said.
The outgoing general is leaving in the next few days to continue his service at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He holds advanced degrees in military studies from Marine Corps University, a master in science in systems management from the University of Southern California and a master of science in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Upon his departure, he did send a message out to the people he is leaving behind at LOGCOM.
"Keep driving, and make sure your work never suffers," Kessler stated.