‘Mighty Mo’ used fifth time for 599th TSB change of command

| July 26, 2013 | 1 Comment
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Col. Shannon Cox (at podium), incoming commander, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade, speaks to assembled family, guests and employees after assuming command of the brigade on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial, here, July 23. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Col. Shannon Cox (at podium), incoming commander, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade, speaks to assembled family, guests and employees after assuming command of the brigade on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial, here, July 23. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs)

Story and photo by Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Col. Shannon Cox assumed command of the 599th Transportation Surface Brigade from Col. Gust Pagonis in a change of command and retirement ceremony, July 23, aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Ford Island.

Cox expressed appreciation to Pagonis for his leadership of the unit.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson (right), commander, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, passes the 599th TSB colors to Col. Shannon Cox, incoming commander, on the fantail deck of the battleship USS Missouri during a change of command ceremony, Tuesday, as outgoing commander Col. Gust Pagonis looks on.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson (right), commander, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, passes the 599th TSB colors to Col. Shannon Cox, incoming commander, on the fantail deck of the battleship USS Missouri during a change of command ceremony, Tuesday, as outgoing commander Col. Gust Pagonis looks on.

“I want to especially thank you who through your guidance and direction have led the 599th, making it a truly professional and effective organization,” she said.

Many of Cox’s extended family from the mainland attended the ceremony.

“We wanted to come and support her. We thought it was such a great idea to have the ceremony on the Missouri. We want to make sure that she knows we are proud of her accomplishments,” said Cox’s cousin, Anthony “Mike” Pilato.

Pagonis retired after more than 27 years of service. He and his family plan to return to his home state of Pennsylvania.

“Leaving now is going out on a high note,” Pagonis said. “I like being in command, and what a command this was. I have no worries about the future of the brigade. Col. Cox is a dynamic leader who will take it to even greater achievements.”

Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, commanding general of the 599th’s higher headquarters, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., agreed.

“As much as we will miss Gus and his family, I have every confidence that Shannon will continue to lead the brigade to new heights,” Richardson said.

This change of command is the fifth that 599th TSB has held aboard the Missouri. A decommissioned Navy vessel may initially seem like a strange place for an Army unit to hold its ceremonies; however, the USS Missouri is the ship on which Japan signed the instrument of surrender to end World War II.

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Col. Shannon Cox (front), incoming commander, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade, leads the way into a change of command ceremony on the fantail deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, here, July 23, followed by (from front to back) Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, commander, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and host of the ceremony; and Col. Gust Pagonis, outgoing commander, 599th TSB. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Col. Shannon Cox (front), incoming commander, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade, leads the way into a change of command ceremony on the fantail deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, here, July 23, followed by (from front to back) Maj. Gen. Thomas Richardson, commander, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and host of the ceremony; and Col. Gust Pagonis, outgoing commander, 599th TSB. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Surface Brigade Public Affairs)

Additionally, the Missouri, which represents the end of the war, is berthed in Pearl Harbor facing the USS Arizona, the most visible symbol of Dec. 7, 1941, the beginning of America’s entry into the war.

This site of the Missouri is also significant to the 599th TSB as a unit, because the main mission of the brigade is booking and tracking ocean cargo to and from the Pacific. The Battleship Missouri Memorial berth also overlooks the pier through which much of 599th TSB cargo is shipped.

Because 599th is headquartered in Hawaii, with its subordinate units scattered throughout the Pacific in Singapore, Guam, Yokohama, Okinawa and Alaska, the brigade headquarters does not have the number of personnel required to put on a ceremony of this caliber.

Other Army units generously stepped up to lend support. The 25th Infantry Division Tropic Lightning Band provided a ceremonial group for the music, and the 225th Brigade Support Battalion provided a color guard, along with ushers and a detail of troops that made the ceremony come together.

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Category: Leadership, News

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  1. Armon Goode says:

    Go 18th ma’am.

    Former Army SGT Armon Goode

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