News: Signal battalion soldiers pay tribute to command sergeant major
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Wilson Rivera
FORT GORDON, Ga. - “No one was more professional than Command Sgt. Maj. Andréa E. Powell. She was a noncommissioned officer; she was a leader of soldiers,” recited Master Sgt. Derrick D. Durham, 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade maintenance operations sergeant, during a memorial service. “She was proud of the corps of noncommissioned officers and always conducted herself to bring credit upon the corps, the military service and her country.”
The 324th Expeditionary Signal Battalion held a memorial ceremony in memory of the battalion’s command sergeant major. Command Sgt. Maj. Andréa E. Powell died in a vehicle accident July 8. A memorial was held July 19 at Good Shepherd Chapel.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Powell was my command sergeant major, but she was also my battle buddy; and I could not ask for a better battle buddy ever,” said Maj. Montrese R. Love, 324th ESB commander, during memorial tribute. “Being battle buddies we knew things about each other that other people might not know. Although she was not shy, which the chaplain said, ‘she used spicy words at times.’”
Powell was not a signal branch soldier. She primarily rose through the ranks to command sergeant major as an Adjutant General Corps soldier serving in various military occupational specialties and positions in her 23 year military career to include instructional/writer positions, personal records supervisor, postal inspector and supervisory positions, also administrative duties for the U.S. Army Forces Command adjutant general.
“What you may not know, Command Sgt. Maj. Powell really thought she was signal,” said Love. “She was what school trained signalers would describe as knowing enough signal to be dangerous. She would research information about signal training, WIN-T (Warfighter Information Network-Tactical), and then send it out so everyone else would have that information.”
Powell was always smiling, looking for that next soldier to pass some knowledge on, according to Sgt. Maj. Rhonda King, 359th TTSB supply and logistics sergeant major. She wanted others to reach out and teach someone else. Train, teach, and mentor, then pass the knowledge on.
She established many mutually beneficial relationships with other units. Powell went outside her regimental branch of the Adjutant General Corps to meet other people in Signal Corps units to ensure she had the connections needed to benefit her soldiers, said Love. She made sure members of the 324th ESB full-time staff at the U.S. Army Reserve center did the same thing.
Powell attended every Signal Corps advanced individual training, advanced leader course, and senior leader course she could. “If there was a graduation happening on Fort Gordon, she was going to be there whether we had soldiers graduating or not. She knew the Signal Song better than I did,” said Love. “She would sing it louder at those graduations than most of those soldiers who were present.”
“Regardless of whether she was on duty at her civilian job or at home, she was always command sergeant major,” said Love.
Powell served both active and Reserve during her 23-year military career span. Her current civilian position was as a military technician with the 3rd Medical Command working as the forces management officer for U.S. Army Civil Affairs Psychological Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
“She was a great mother to her two children Lucrecia and Jalen, who were the light of her life,” said Love.
For Command Sgt. Maj. Andréa E. Powell's obituary, please go to http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?n=andra-powell&pid=165814752&fhid=5155
Command Sgt. Maj. Andréa E. Powell's military awards and decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal – 3d Award), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Ribbon with Bronze Service Star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal with Bronze Service Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Bronze Hourglass and M device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon with numeral 3, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Superior Unit Award and the Horatio Gates Adjutant General Regimental Award (posthumously). She is also a Member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and a Lifetime Member of the Adjutant General Corps Regimental Association.
Date Posted:07.24.2013 11:06
Location:FORT GORDON, USAFRICOM, AT SEA
Hometown:ATLANTA, GA, US
Hometown:CONYERS, GA, US
Hometown:FISHKILL, NY, US
Hometown:WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY, US