News: Spartan 7 says goodbye to the Last Frontier
Story by Sgt. Eric-James Estrada
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – U.S. Army Command Sgt Maj. Ildefonso E. Barraza of San Antonio, assumed responsibilities as the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division’s senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony here, May 13, 2013. Barraza takes on this role as the Spartan Brigade’s command sergeant major from U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Gardner, who is moving to Fort Riley, Kan., to assume the responsibilities of post command sergeant major.
“I am greatly humbled by and blessed to have the opportunity to serve you and this organization in yet another capacity,” said Barraza.
The change of responsibility ceremony is a tradition in which the passing of the guidon symbolizes the honor and duty expected of the incoming non-commissioned officer who assumes their role in leadership. The passing of the guidon signifies the relinquishing of responsibility and authority from the outgoing to the incoming command sergeant major.
“It has been an honor and privilege to have served in an amazing organization,” said Gardner. “I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to lead such an outstanding unit.”
During the ceremony, U.S. Army Col. Mathew McFarlane, the commander for the Spartan Brigade made numerous acknowledgements of Gardner’s accomplishments.
“A change-of-responsibility gives us the opportunity to acknowledge a senior NCO’s service and, most importantly, the enduring legacy that he leaves behind,” said McFarlane. “His legacy is built on care for his Troopers and the leadership example he demonstrated every day.”
Gardner was awarded the Legion of Merit, and his wife, Teresa, received the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.
Barraza most recently served as the 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne) command sergeant major. He has held a number of key leadership and staff positions in his 27 years of service.
Gardner is on his way to Fort Riley, Kan., post command sergeant major and will close out his three decades of service after the completion of that duty.
“As I close this chapter in my career I wish USARAK and the Spartan Brigade the best luck and God bless each and every one of you and your families.”