News: US Army Environmental Command welcomes new top NCO
Story by Barry Napp
SAN ANTONIO - Command Sgt. Maj. Gene E. Canada took over as U.S. Army Environmental Command’s top enlisted soldier during a change of responsibility ceremony held at the Installation Management Command’s campus Sept. 19.
He replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Y. Lavender, who is now the garrison CSM at Joint Base Myers-Henderson in Alexandria, Va.
Canada had been command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern in Germany and has held every leadership position from squad leader to CSM. The 25-year veteran has three tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, starting as an ammunition specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.
“I’m very excited and honored to be here on the AEC team,” he said. “As the senior enlisted soldier, I must make sure our soldiers here and around installations worldwide understand the importance of environmental stewardship so they can maximize training to be combat ready and protect our nation.”
A native Texan born at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and raised in Austin, Canada is an experienced leader who USAEC leadership feels will bring big dividends to the command.
“This is great news for us, as CSM Canada is experienced in IMCOM business. He has played a critical role as a leader throughout his Army career and knows and cares about soldiers and their families,” said Col. Mark A. Lee, USAEC commander.
“This command sergeant major will take the Army Environmental Command into the future,” Lee added. “He will provide soldiers the opportunity to train in a way that maximizes the availability of training resources which, in turn will enhance combat readiness.”
Canada told the audience that he was excited to carry on the work of Lavender, the command’s first senior enlisted soldier.
“I have had a big support team throughout my career and I thank CSM Lavender for laying the groundwork here,” he said. “But I owe the greatest success to soldiers that came before me and taught and mentored me that the Army is about people.”
Lee hosted the change of responsibility ceremony and the symbolic passing of the noncommissioned officer sword was presided over by CSM Earl L. Rice, IMCOM Command Sergeant Major, who presented the sword to Lee, to pass on to Canada.
“Canada will make the connection between scientists and soldiers to ensure effective environmental training and reinforcing education about environmental issues is extremely important,” Rice said.
“He is known for his team work and high standards to build relationships and accomplish missions.”