CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Spano assumed the helm as the senior enlisted adviser in the 2nd Infantry Division from Command Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Eyer during a change of responsibility ceremony Jan. 30, 2013, at Camp Casey, South Korea.
Before the ceremony, Eyer’s advice to his soldiers echoed many of the same things he had said during his tenure as the division’s highest ranking noncommissioned officer.
“To the leaders, I would tell them not to forget where they come from, and to share their knowledge with the young soldiers coming up,” said Eyer. “To the young soldiers, I would say continue to strive to do your job to the best of your ability and get the education you require to further your service.”
Eyer’s retirement ceremony was held after the change of responsibility ceremony.
“To have the opportunity to retire with my soldiers in this country where I served for the last two years is going to give me a very fond memory of my experience here in Korea,” said Eyer.
During his two-year tenure as the command sergeant major of the only permanently forward-stationed division in the U.S. Army, Eyer worked to strengthen the Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance and focused his efforts on advancing combined training between the ROK and U.S. armies.
“The Gyeonggi Provincial Office conferred a Governor’s plaque of appreciation on division Command Sergeant Major Eyer," said Lee Han-gyu, director general of the Planning & Administration Office, Gyeonggi Provincial Office. The plaque read, "For enhancing ROK-U.S. friendship and in appreciation for his cooperation with the Gyeonggi Province Office and specifically his work with the ROK-U.S. Partnership Council.”
Eyer also pressed to bring Air Assault training back to Korea for the first time since the 1980s and introduced the Master Resiliency Training program to the division, which has been credited as a major factor in the division’s success fighting suicide.
“Command Sergeant Major Eyer leaves a division that is more resilient, better trained and better prepared to ‘Fight Tonight,’” said Maj. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, 2nd Infantry Division commanding general. “And that legacy will live on in the soldiers, and those Soldiers they lead, well into the future – keeping our 2ID legacy strong and ready to answer any call.”
Eyer is renowned for pushing for a major shift in the way the division trains on the peninsula. The introduction of Live-Virtual-Constructive-Gaming training allowed soldiers to train in a virtual environment rehearsing on every major combat system before ever touching a live round, providing a safe and cost effective means of increasing the division’s readiness and ability to accomplish its mission.
“As Command Sergeant Major Eyer ventures into a well-earned retirement after more than 28 years of loyal and dedicated service, we are certainly sorry to see him leave our ranks,” said Cardon. “We are equally fortunate to welcome another amazing noncommissioned officer – Command Sergeant Major Andrew Spano – who now dons the famed Indianhead patch for the first time.”
In his remarks to his new soldiers and attending U.S.-ROK dignitaries, Spano expressed heartfelt feeling on his new assignment as senior enlisted leader of the storied 2nd Infantry Division.
“I’m honored and privileged to be part of this division as we move forward,” said Spano. “I look forward to serving with the NCOs, Soldiers, officers and KATUSAs of the 2nd Infantry Division.”
“These two tremendous warriors are permanently bonded together within our Division’s tremendous lineage and will forever be emblazoned in our history as our division command sergeants major,” said Cardon.