Blake takes top enlisted post
June 20, 2008
Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen D. Blake became the second command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in a change of responsibility ceremony held June 19 at ASC headquarters at Rock Island, Ill.
Command Sgt. Maj. Norberto D. Osbourne, who held the position since ASC was established in September 2006, retired during the same ceremony.
Command Sgt. Maj. Osbourne's relinquishment of responsibility also marked the end of his 30 years of service in the United States Army.
"The Army will always be part of the Osbourne family," Osbourne said in his remarks. "While I am leaving the Army, and no longer wearing the uniform, the Army will never leave my heart; the support for the warfighter will always be a part of me."
Command Sgt. Maj. Blake comes to ASC from the 101st Sustainment Brigade at Fort Campbell, Ky. Blake has 26 years of service in the United States Army.
As command sergeant major, Blake is the senior enlisted soldier in ASC and serves as the primary advisor to the commanding general on all matters pertaining to enlisted personnel assigned to the command, particularly in areas related to their training and development and to the quality of life and well-being of soldiers and their families. Command Sgt. Maj. Blake also responds to the concerns of civilian and contractor employees of the command, and performs community outreach activities.
In remarks delivered at the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Robert M. Radin, commanding general of ASC, commented on the experience that Blake would bring to the command.
"We are very fortunate to have a soldier of Command Sgt. Maj. Blake background join the command," Radin commented. "He is a soldier's soldier with 26 years of distinguished service. He knows firsthand the quality of the force that he will lead as the Army Sustainment Command's top Soldier. ASC welcomes his leadership, experience and knowledge as we face the challenges of the future together."
During Blake's comments at the ceremony, he said that he was excited to be the new command sergeant major and reminded the workforce how important their job is.
"You make a difference every day to the soldier in the field," Blake said. "So when you get up in the morning and come to work, remember you are doing it for them. They do for you; you do for them."
Command Sgt. Maj. Blake entered the Army in February 1982. During his career, Blake has served in a number of key enlisted leadership positions. He has completed overseas tours in Germany and Korea, as well as a combat tours in Southwest Asia during both Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2003, Blake graduated from Class 53 of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. His military training and education also includes the Air Assault School, Primary Leadership Development Course, and First Sergeants Course. He was named as the distinguished graduate from his class in both the Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course. Command Sgt. Maj. Blake holds an Associates Degree in Business Management from Excelsior College.
Blake's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (three awards); the Legion of Merit; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards); the Army Commendation Medal (nine awards); the Army Achievement Medal (nine awards); the Good Conduct Medal (eight awards); the National Defense Service Medal with Star; the Southwest Asia Service Medal with three stars; the Iraq , Afghanistan, Global War on Terrorism, and Korean Defense service medals; the NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral Four; the Army Service Ribbon; the Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral Three; the NATO Medal; Kuwait Liberation Medals from the governments of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; the Air Assault Badge; and three Meritorious Unit Commendations. He is also a recipient of the Ordnance Order of Samuel Sharpe.
Blake is a native of the unincorporated community of Tyler Mountain, W. Va. Blake and his wife, the former Karen Marie Riley of Ohio, are the parents of two children, Amber and Joshua.