Sara Jane Higgins passes the Headquarters and Headquarters Company guidon after assuming command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison. Photo courtesy of HHC, USAG

Pierce relinquishes command to Higgins

On July 24, while maintaining social distancing, Capt. Shawn Pierce, the commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, relinquished command to Capt. Sara Jane Higgins during a change of command ceremony in Spates Community Center.

On March 13, 1922, Gen. of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing approved of the formation of Headquarters Company District of Washington. It was redesigned as Headquarters Company United States Army Sept. 18, 1960. It is the only company in the U.S. Army authorized its own shoulder patch, unit crest and guidon. It’s also the largest and most diverse company in the Army. It provides leadership to more than 4,500 officers, noncommissioned officers and Soldiers attached to more than 35 organizations in the National Capital Region.

Lt. Col. Vance Brunner, the commander of Headquarters Battalion, said the company is unique is so many ways and it takes a unique leader to command it.

“Capt. Pierce has led this company with enthusiasm and integrity from day one,” said Brunner. “Capt. Pierce never, and I mean never, forgets a Soldier’s name or where they are assigned. If you walk the halls of the Pentagon with him, you won’t make it 10 feet without a Soldier or senior leader stopping him to talk to him. This is because Capt. Pierce is a problem solver.

“He has built robust systems for the company that will have an enduring positive impact for many years to come. Realizing that the company needed better connectivity to the Pentagon’s more than 25 main Army offices, he built a unit readiness leader program from the ground up. These URLs will be the linkage from the company to the offices in the Pentagon.”

Brunner added that Higgins will build upon the previous command team’s accomplishments and take the unit to new heights.

“Capt. Higgins is a proven leader serving at the battalion and brigade level for cavalry, sustainment and aviation units,” he said. “Her most recent assignment was (executive officer) to the deputy to the assistant secretary for military manpower. Getting to know all those different offices in the Pentagon is your next mission.”

During his remarks, Pierce was thankful for his time serving as the commander of Headquarters Command for the last 14 months.

“As the company commander of the most dynamic organization in our nation’s Army (thank you) for allowing me to take care of America’s most precious asset — its sons and daughter,” he said. “This command journey would not be possible without great mentors guiding me along the way.”

Higgins began her remarks by saying there is no great honor or experience than serving in command. She added that she was humbled and honored to take command.

“I look forward to working with Soldiers, NCOs, warrant officer and officers in Headquarters U.S. Army to ensure they are ready and able to focus on their most critical mission — running the United States Army,” she said.


Pentagram Editor Catrina Francis can be reached at