News: 'Vanguard' Battalion bids farewell to senior leader during change of responsibility
By Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan S. DeLong
BAGHDAD— Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st “Vanguard” Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center conducted a change of responsibility ceremony at Camp Taji, Iraq between 1st Sgt. James Carroll, the company’s outgoing first sergeant, and its incoming first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Jimmy Turbeville.
The change of responsibility ceremony is steeped in military tradition and serves the dual function of rendering honors to the departing first sergeant and providing official recognition of the transfer of authority as the company’s senior non-commissioned officer to the incoming first sergeant.
When Carroll left his home in Athens, Ala., to join the Army more than 20 years ago, he knew he wanted to serve his country on the front lines as an infantryman. During his career, he has served in numerous positions, including machine gunner, squad leader, platoon sergeant, virtual-battlefield advisor at the National Training Center, and most recently, company first sergeant for nearly four years within the Vanguard Battalion.
His career has taken him to Korea, Germany, and many Army bases in
the U.S. He has also been deployed three times in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, serving as a first sergeant on two of those deployments.
Carroll has been recently selected for promotion to sergeant major, the highest rank an enlisted soldier can attain and will depart Iraq to attend the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas.
“He has clearly performed above the task in all facets of his duties as first sergeant for Company A and as the HHC first sergeant,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Evans, command sergeant major of 1st Bn., 18th Inf. Regt. and a Columbia, S.C., native. “As he transitions on to the Sergeants Major Academy, he will be given more tools, enhancing his ability to add to the team.”
What Carroll is most proud of, however, is the development and accomplishments of the soldiers who have served in the units he has led.
“During my time as a first sergeant, I have seen new soldiers come [in] and develop into non-commissioned officers and take on responsibility and do great things for their nation,” said Carroll.
Carroll has been fortunate throughout his career to have support during the more challenging times. He attributes a lot of his success to the support he has received from his wife, Nicole, and their four children.
“It would be almost impossible to do my job through the years without the love and support of my family,” he said.
As Carroll departs, he leaves the company is the capable hands of 1st Sgt. Jimmy Turbeville. Turbeville, a Junction City, Kan., native, who is also on his third deployment to Iraq, has served as the first sergeant for three companies within the Vanguard Battalion. With 20 years of service in the Army, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the company.
“The command climate that 1st Sgt. Carroll has created with the company commander has been a successful one, and I look forward to stepping in and leading and mentoring the 200 soldiers within the company,” he said.