News: Duke command sergeants major hand over responsibilities
Story by Staff Sgt. Ben Navratil
FORT KNOX, Ky. – The senior enlisted advisors of four battalions of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, handed over duties in separate ceremonies last week.
The BCT returned from a year-long combat tour in Afghanistan in January, and is transitioning much of its senior leadership.
In one ceremony held at the Patton Museum on April 17, Command Sgt. Maj. Billie Jo Boersma formally accepted the 3-1 Special Troops Battalion’s colors, symbolizing the passage of responsibility from outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Bob Richardson.
In his final address to the battalion, Richardson thanked his non-commissioned officers, for their support during his nearly three year tenure.
“It is the NCO support channel that remains in the shadows, executing every mission above the standard,” said Richardson.
The following day, Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Tagalicud, outgoing command sergeant major of the 2nd Bn., 2nd Inf. Regt., handed over his own responsibilities to a grateful Command Sgt. Maj. John Morales at Smith Gym.
“I’m truly humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to serve as the battalion command sergeant major for such an outstanding and proud unit,” said Morales.
The Dukes’ week ended with a third change of responsibility, as Command Sgt. Maj. John Murray took over the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regt. from Sgt. Maj. Juan Cornett. He took the opportunity to inspire his new soldiers to strive to set a higher standard for themselves and the squadron.
“Those setting the standard are the leaders,” said Murray. “They are the people who will carry this organization further.”
Finally, Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Thanheiser handed off the guidon of the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment to Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Fleek. As he said he farewell speech to his soldiers, he thanked the leadership he worked with both at Fort Knox and downrange.
“We had a very strong team with solid, motivated leaders; determined to accomplish all aspects of our mission,” he said.