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A former gunner takes over as 60th TC’s CSM

Commanding Unit


North Carolina National Guard
Raleigh, NC, US

A former gunner takes over as 60th TC’s CSM


Story by Sgt. Leticia Samuels

A former gunner takes over as 60th TC’s CSM RALEIGH, N.C. - Noncommissioned officers and enlisted soldiers assigned to 60th Troop Command’s units participated in a change-of-responsibility ceremony at the Claude T. Bowers Military Center on April 12, 2015, during which Command Sgt. Maj. Ernest Bouton passed the brigade’s senior enlisted leader duties and responsibilities to Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Whitaker.

The 60th Troop Command is one of the North Carolina National Guard’s six brigade-level commands.

“I need to continue what Command Sgt. Maj. Bouton has started, he has held these soldiers and this brigade up to some great standards, but I would like to continue to improve upon the counseling, basic soldier skills, mentorship, the esprit de corps, and the whole soldier concept,” said Whitaker.

Whitaker is an army veteran serving 26 years and has held various positions, which have given him insight into the soldier’s path as they rise in the ranks. Gaining knowledge from these positions will to help him push the 60th TC forward during his tenure.

“The many different jobs I held from a gunner to a squad leader to NCOIC of recruiting, to production recruiting, to the G1, seeing the different phases of the soldiers and where they are at in their careers, I think that will help me the most,” said Whitaker.

Whitaker also plans to carry on some traditions and bring a few back that have fallen to the wayside over the years due to wartime events. Ceremonies that highlight different milestones in the soldier’s career will be a tradition that Whitaker would like the support of from the TC.

“There are a lot of traditions I would like to see continue and maybe even reenergize. I want to see the core of the noncommissioned officers rally around new sergeants,” Whitaker said. “When we step out of being a soldier and into the ranks of being a noncommissioned officer it needs to feel different, it needs to look different, it needs to be different.”

A sword was used in the change-of-responsibility ceremony. The tradition of a sword being associated with the Noncommissioned officer corps started in 1840 with the selection of it not only intended for its functional use, but also symbolizing hard work and dedication. NCOs wore the sword for over 70 years during great battles such as the Mexican American War, the Civil War, and the Spanish American War, forging a part of America’s history.

The symbolism and history of the ceremony exemplifies the importance a commander places on the position of the senior NCO in a unit. The sword presentation reminds the soldiers of the unit that the senior NCO is responsible for the good order and discipline of the troops. It’s also a reminder to the senior NCO of the responsibility of taking care of the troops.

U.S. Army Col. Ephraim E. Grubbs, III, the Commander of 60th Troop Command, presided over ceremony. He also spoke during the ceremony giving great thanks to Bouton for his selfless service and the impression that Bouton has left on him. Bouton also received numerous gifts from the companies he has held to the standard, to include a fishing pole given by the North Carolina National Guard’s Medical Detachment.

“I have never met a man who gave so much of himself so freely. Truly a selfless servant,” said Grubbs.

“This is the most diversified brigade in the state, and you get a lot of satisfaction from being able to take all of this diversity, come together and make one command team to set us up for success” said Bouton.

The 60th Troop Command is comprised of an assortment of units, all with distinct missions and purposes making it the most diverse brigade in the North Carolina National Guard. Its units include the 42nd Civil Support Team (WMD); 5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment; NCNG Recruiting and Retention Battalion; B Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne); B Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne); Special Operations Detachment-X; NCNG Medical Detachment; 163rd Area Support Medical Company; 430th Ordnance Company (EOD); 130th Military History Detachment; 382nd Public Affairs Detachment and 440th Army Band.

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