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    Pillar of Strength Departs 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

    Pillar of Strength Departs 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

    Photo By Capt. Sarah Knowlton | Command Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Breck relinquishes responsibility as the 807th MC(DS)...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Sarah Knowlton 

    807th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

    SALT LAKE CITY – In a ceremony held at the University of Utah Union Building, which exists at the foothills of the Wasatch Front of the Rocky Mountains, the 807th MC (DS) bade farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Robert B. Breck as he passed the division Colors, symbolically relinquishing his responsibilities, to Command Sgt. Maj. Marlo V. Cross on January 5, 2019.

    The responsibilities of a division level command sergeant major (CSM) are many and Breck served about a year and a half longer than the position is typically held. This nominative position is awarded after a competitive selection process. In this assignment alone he served as the senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) advisor to three different commanding generals consecutively. As a part of a command team he shared responsibility for the mission readiness and well-being of 10,000 soldiers from California to Ohio.

    “Command Sgt. Maj. Breck has been a pillar of strength at the 807th,” said Maj. Gen. Michael C. O’Guinn, the current 807th MC (DS) Commanding General, “his leadership and example will be sorely missed.”

    Looking at Breck’s life from the outside, one can see that he has volunteered for the hard jobs - all with a heavy emphasis on service and leadership.

    “You don’t get to be the Division CSM by accident. He [Breck] has had incredibly tough and demanding responsibilities and at every step of the way he has taken on the hard jobs and been successful,” said O’Guinn.

    When asked about how he felt about his military career, Breck said, "How do you put in words all of the adventures and experiences and people that came into your life? You wonder if you became the leader that your mentors saw in you back in the early stages of your career.”

    Although Breck made his mark in the military, receiving numerous awards to include the distinguished Legion of Merit and Purple Heart, he also served the state of Utah, retiring from a successful career as a Sergeant from the Utah State Highway Patrol. Breck graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and undergraduate certificates in Criminal Justice and Corrections. He was also selected as the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year in 2007.

    “I joined the military right out of high school and never regretted my decision. Being part of the military as a combat military police (MP) officer, a logistical sergeant with deployment in support of Desert Shield and Storm, and being full time in the Utah Army National Guard helped prepare me for another career as a Trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol,” said Breck.

    “Serving both my state and my country at the same time gave me great opportunities to be successful in both careers. The experiences from the Highway Patrol prepared me for deployments in support of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and what I was to face over there. Serving has been my pleasure and honor.”

    Transferring into the Army Reserve in 1997, Breck has served as the 807th MC (DS) Command Sergeant Major since August 9, 2014.

    Speaking about his service, “I gave it my all. I didn’t do this for any accolades. I didn’t do this because it was something that was about me; because it’s not. It’s about the soldiers, about their kids, their brothers, their sisters, their moms and their dads. That I was here for them and that I sacrificed a lot to help them just as much is they are sacrificing to help me is what matters,” Breck said.

    “I would love the public to understand that this is not just a part time job for soldiers that are out there. Whether they have soldiers that are family members or employees it takes a lot to do this and to be able to support it,” said Breck.

    “That would be the legacy I would want to leave for the Soldiers. As you support those soldiers out there, you are supporting the safety of this nation and that is what it is all about. The freedoms we all enjoy, every one of us, have been due to the sacrifices of so many and we can’t put a price tag on it we can’t put a label on it.”

    One talent Breck has is recognizing what works and extending programs to others to increase the value of the existing programs. He recognized that the cardio program from the highway patrol called the Colonel’s Challenge would be a benefit to the soldiers back when he was at the Military Intelligence Readiness Command. He saw the value and extended it to the soldiers to help them and inspire them. It has since spread to other commands and helped many soldiers and civilians who are encouraged to participate as well.

    “I saw we had a deficit in our (physical training) PT scores and we’re kicking soldiers out of the army for PT failure. It was the age group from 18-24 that were struggling with this. I wanted an incentive for them to get out there in a ten week program to create a habit for them to understand they can accomplish this, and also for the leadership to get involved with their soldiers. I mean the big thing was getting leaders out there with their soldiers and helping them get over that hump of height/weight or APFT failure, because it can be done,” said Breck.

    “There are a lot of us considered over the hill that we are not 300 top of the testing scale) but we still pass, that’s one of the things that everyone needs to understand. Passing is passing. As long as you are doing that then you are meeting the standard.”

    The CSM Cardio Challenge was just one of many projects the Breck was responsible for.

    During the Change of Responsibility ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Ted L. Copeland, U.S. Army Reserve Command, visiting from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, spoke about how selfless service and sacrifice are required of senior leaders.

    “The Sergeant Major is the senior enlisted advisor to that command group. What a position of importance. We say it, but it’s critical. It’s loyalty. It’s duty to the soldiers and civilians of that organization. Selfless service as a senior non-commissioned officer means unit, soldier, and mission before self”, said Copeland, “It’s dedication above all to that organization. It’s loyalty to that commander”.

    Copeland thanked Breck for his years of service to the 807th, the Army Reserve, and our country. He acknowledged Breck had dug the foxhole in which the incoming Command Sergeant Major, Cross, could continue to dig a deeper and continue to work to support the command.

    While this transition does not mean the end of Breck’s military career, but rather the transition to further service at another unit, it was a time to reflect on the whole of his service to his community, and his country.

    To Command Sgt. Maj. Breck, as one of those soldiers who has had the honor to have served with you, I believe that you have not only met the expectations of your mentors, but exceeded them. Your strengths, like a pillar, will provide a frame for others to follow to their own success.



    Date Taken: 01.05.2019
    Date Posted: 03.02.2019 18:58
    Story ID: 312635
    Location: SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US 
    Hometown: SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US
    Hometown: YUMA, AZ, US

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