FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A unit, inactivated,
On September 13, the 33rd Financial Management Support Unit, known as the “Mountain Paymasters,” was officially deactivated during a ceremony at Fort Drum’s Memorial Park.
“This is a sad ending,” Lieutenant Colonel Derrick Lucarelli, 10th Sustainment Troops Battalion Commander said during the ceremony. “The 33rd closes the story on nothing but the highest notes. Led from the front in every way that we have come to expect from this great organization. To the very end, they were truly a team of teams.”
The unit has a long history. It was first constituted in 1966 in the regular and activated at Fort Lewis, Washington later that year. It was later inactivated two years later in Vietnam.
The unit eventually called Fort Drum home on April 1, 1985, when it was re-designated and activated as the 33rd Finance Center. The unit was later reorganized and redesignated on October 16, 1988, as the 33rd Finance Support Unit.
Four years later on October 16, 1992, the unit became the 33rd Finance Battalion.
Up until its recent inactivation, the 33rd FMSU was a part of the 10th Sustaintment Troops Battalion, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade. Duties within the unit ranged from personnel pay to funding historic deployment.
“They provide cash in the battlefield,” 33rd FMSU Outgoing Commander Major Jose Jimenez explained. “The unit went through Operation Iraqi Freedom. Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom. We participated in Desert Storm, and recently the unit was in Kuwait.”
According to Major Jimenez, the unit was inactivated as the Army began its finance and comptroller branch expansion and reorganization.
All FMSUs will move to Fort Liberty in North Carolina or Fort Cavaso in Texas, where they will form battalions. Finance leadership will then command companies to address specific requests from installations across the country, including Fort Drum.
“Either Fort Cavaso or Fort Liberty will determine whoever is available and will send a company to go support,” Major Jimenez said. “It’s all about timing. It’s all about providing the information that the commander needs in a timely manner so that they are able to make decisions. The proper decision.”
Although a bittersweet ending at Fort Drum, the 33rd FMSU left behind a historic legacy for its former and outgoing soldiers.
“I know these soldiers, wherever they go, they’re going to be able to do their job,” Major Jimenez expressed. “I feel like we were responsible for that these soldiers are ready to go wherever to do whatever.”
The 33rd FMSU unit received one Extraordinary Meritorious Service Commendation for service from 1990 to 1991; and two Meritorious Unit Commendations following missions from February 2011 to 2012 and April to August 2021.