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13th ESC commander dies of apparent natural causes in Kabul, Afghanistan

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February 9, 2012 | News
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An Army carry team transfers the remains of Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner Monday at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Monday. Hildner, commanding general of Fort Hood’s 13th ESC, died Friday in Kabul, Afghanistan, of apparent natural causes. Roland Balik, 436th Airwing Public Affairs
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Hildner Courtesy photo
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In this file photo, Brig. Gen. Terence Hildner, 13th ESC commanding general, discusses the importance of the 13th ESC Memorial and the need to remember the unit’s 106 fallen troops, Aug. 18, 2011. Sgt. Steven Schneider, 13th ESC Public Affairs
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In this file photo, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan Deputy Commander for Support Operations Brig. Gen. Terence Hildner and his senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Parham, uncase the colors of the 13th ESC during a ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 14. Senior Airman Andrea Salazar, NTM-A Public Affairs
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In this file photo, then-Col. Terence Hildner accepts the unit colors of the 13th ESC from Maj. Gen. Will Grimsley, acting senior commander at Fort Hood, during a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field Aug. 19, 2010. Maj. Raul Marquez, 13th ESC Public Affairs
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In this file photo, Cindy and Robert Hildner, wife and father of Brig. Gen. Terence Hildner, commanding general of 13th ESC, replace his colonel epaulets with brigadier general epaulets at his advancement ceremony Feb. 8, 2011 at III Corps Headquarters, while Maj. Gen. Michael Terry, 8th Theater Sustainment Command commander, looks on. Staff Sgt. Matthew Cooley, 13th ESC Public Affairs
Brigadier Gen. Terence J. Hildner, commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), died Friday of apparent natural causes in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was 49.

The general took command of 13th ESC Aug. 19, 2010.

“We are truly saddened by the loss of Brig. Gen. Hildner,” Lt. Gen. Don Campbell Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, said. “This is a tragic loss for the Army, III Corps and for our Central Texas community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his Family and friends. The command will remain focused on assisting the Family through this difficult time.”

Born in New Haven, Conn., Hilder, was a 1984 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He began his career as an armor officer with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss. He was reassigned in 1988 to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Federal Republic of Germany. He served as the regimental training officer and subsequently commanded a ground cavalry troop. During his company command, Hildner’s troop deployed with the regiment as part of the VII Corps’ attack into Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. It also conducted the last U.S. patrol along the East-West German border before its reunification.

Returning from Germany, the general served in several assignments at Fort Hood to include 2nd Armored Division comptroller and aide-de-camp to the 4th Infantry Division commanding general.

Following his transition to the Quartermaster Corps and attendance at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1997, Hildner served in a variety of staff positions to include battalion executive officer of the 296th Forward Support Battalion, Supply and Services chief for I Corps Logistics at Fort Lewis, Wash., and logistician for Joint Task Force 6, a Department of Defense counterdrug task force.

In 2003, Hildner assumed command of the 13th Corps Support Command’s Special Troops Battalion at Fort Hood. During nearly three years in command, the battalion conducted two operational deployments. The first came in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a combat sustainment support battalion, providing general logistical support to units located around Joint Base Balad, as well as the Abu Gharib prison complex. The battalion’s second deployment came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as Logistical Task Force Lone Star, providing both military and humanitarian support operations.

From July 2007 to July 2009, Hildner commanded the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade at Fort Lee, Va., training more than 20,000 Soldiers annually for deployment in support of contingency operations across the globe.

In 2009, he was the Combined Arms Support Command’s director of training and doctrine.

Hildner deployed to Afghanistan with the 13th ESC in December to support the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan.

“The unfortunate and untimely death of Brig. Gen. Hildner was a shock to our unit and Families,” Col. Knowles Atchison, 13th ESC rear commander, said. “Both forward deployed elements and we at home station are deeply saddened by this loss. We will all pull together through this difficult period and care for one another.”

Hildner’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, U.S. Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Southwest Asia Medal with 2 bronze stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

Hildner’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery is scheduled for Feb. 29. At Fort Hood, the unit is planning a memorial service for the general.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.
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