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Airbornelawyer
09-06-2006, 11:18
Special Forces battalion welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Release Date: Sep 05, 2006

By Jaime L. Wood
U.S. European Command Public Affairs

http://www.eucom.mil/english/FullStory.asp?art=1123

BÖBLINGEN, Germany — Army Lt. Col. Francis Beaudette, 1st Battalion 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, passed a traditional sword and responsibility of the battalion’s enlisted force to Army Command Sgt Maj. Robert M. Lonergan, during a change of responsibility ceremony on Panzer Kaserne here Aug. 31, 2006. Lonergan replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Melvin L. Bynum as the senior enlisted leader of the battalion.

Lonergan’s new duties include carrying out the policies and standards of the performance, training, appearance and conduct of the battalion’s enlisted personnel. He also advises and initiates recommendations to the commander and staff in matters pertaining to the local noncommissioned officer support channel.

The battalion commander described the senior enlisted leader role as “the fitting of men in a position so critical, that no unit can function without, no commander can lead without and no men can serve without them.” “A command sergeant major’s leadership, professionalism, responsibility and dedication weave every minute through the entire organization, from top to bottom,” Beaudette said. “The command sergeant major is a symbol of leadership.”

“As we are all part of the first and oldest modern special operations force in the military, it is only fitting that we are still forward deployed, at the tip of the spear, ready to take off at a moment’s notice to new and unnamed battle fields — to deny safe haven, training areas and support to emerging foes within the EUCOM and the NATO footprint,” Lonergan, said to the Soldiers. He is no stranger to the battalion, having previously served as a first sergeant and company-level sergeant major here.

The outgoing senior enlisted leader challenged the special operations troops to achieve the U.S. Special Operations Command vision which is to be the premier team of Special Forces warriors. “Today our military is committed with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving in more than 120 countries around the world,” Bynum, who will continue his military service with a unit in Iraq, said to the Special Forces troops. “I’m extremely proud of your accomplishments in Iraq, Afghanistan, in the Balkans, and across northern Africa. Our enemies are attempting to adapt to our tactics each day, so we must consistently adapt and change as well.”

“We are poised to prevent the next big fight and to take the fight to the enemies of freedom wherever they might try to establish footholds for injustice, oppression and tyranny,” Lonergan concluded.

The noncommissioned officer sword was adopted by the War Department in 1840. It was worn by American sergeants for over 70 years which included conflicts such as the Mexican War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. The passing of the sword ceremony is one of the oldest military traditions and signifies the relinquishing of the responsibilities from the outgoing command sergeant major to the incoming senior enlisted leader.