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    Volunteer Brigade welcomes new command sergeant major

    48th IBCT Change of Responsibility

    Photo By Capt. Bryant Wine | U.S. Army Col. Jason Baker (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. John Ballenger (right) present...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Bryant Wine 

    48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    The Georgia Army National Guard’s Macon-based 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team hosted a change of responsibility ceremony Jan. 9, 2021, at Volunteer Headquarters in Macon, Georgia. U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Paul transferred senior enlisted advisor responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. John Ballenger in the ceremony.

    “Command Sergeant Major Paul, thank you for your service and contribution to mission success of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team,” said U.S. Army Col. Jason Baker, brigade commander of the 48th IBCT. “Command Sergeant Major Ballenger is no stranger to the brigade and its mission. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position.”

    The brigade command sergeant major is the highest-ranking enlisted position in the 48th IBCT, an organization comprised of over 4,100 Soldiers. The person assigned to this position uses his years of experience to serve as the brigade commander’s advisor of enlisted affairs.

    In the ceremony, Paul, Baker and Ballenger transferred a ceremonial noncommissioned officer’s sword. The sword represents rigid dedication to mission of the noncommissioned officer corps, commonly known as the “backbone” of the Army.

    Paul’s passing of the sword to Baker symbolized his relinquishment of responsibility after meritoriously serving in the position since July 2020. His tenure as command sergeant major saw the brigade through COVID-19 response, support to authorities during civil disturbances and overseas training missions in Germany, Georgia and Morocco.

    Paul, a resident of Euharlee, Georgia, entered military service on active duty in July 1994. He first joined the 48th IBCT in June 2013 when he became the operations sergeant major of the Forsyth-based 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment.

    Paul is notable in Georgia Army National Guard history as the first command sergeant major of the Fort Benning-based 1st Battalion, 54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade.

    Baker awarded the Legion of Merit to Paul for his service to the brigade as command sergeant major.

    “Today, I walked into Volunteer Headquarters for the last time as a Macon Volunteer,” said Paul. Thank you all for making this one of the easiest and most fulfilling positions in my career.”

    In the ceremony, Baker passed the noncommissioned officer’s sword to Ballenger, a gesture showing his trust and confidence of the incoming command sergeant major.

    A resident of Cartersville, Georgia, Ballenger has a wealth of experience in the Volunteer Brigade having joined the organization in 1998 after three years of active-duty service.

    Ballenger has held all enlisted leadership positions including most recently as the squadron command sergeant major of the Calhoun-based 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment.

    Ballenger was the brigade operations sergeant major in 2017 when the 48th IBCT aligned with the 3rd Infantry Division under the Associated Unit Program. Here, Ballenger played an important role in manning, training and equipping the brigade with its new role under an active-duty division.

    “Like our Soldiers, I will always be a volunteer,” said Ballenger in his remarks to close the ceremony. “I will always lead those who do to the best of my ability.”



    Date Taken: 01.09.2022
    Date Posted: 01.10.2022 14:01
    Story ID: 412667
    Location: MACON, GA, US 
    Hometown: CARTERSVILLE, GA, US
    Hometown: EUHARLEE, GA, US

    Web Views: 201
    Downloads: 1