The passing of the sword
(From left) Incoming Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams accepts the Noncommissioned Officer Sword from Garrison Commander Col. Gregory R. McClinton during the Change of Responsibility Ceremony at the post theater June 26. Adams replaces Outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Ervin who is retiring after more than 31 years of service.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - It was a bittersweet parting of friends as the community wished outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Ervin well and welcomed his replacement, incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams, during the Garrison Change of Responsibility Ceremony at the post theater June 26.

Guests included CECOM Chief of Staff Col. Charles C. Gibson; CECOM and installation Command Sgt. Maj. Kennis Dent; Command Sgt. Maj. Harold Dunn, 20th CBRNE Command; Sgt. Maj. Alicia Singer, U.S. Army Public Health Command; Sgt. Maj. Adrianne Harris, 1st Area Medical Laboratory, and a host of other installation senior noncommissioned officers as well as Garrison directors and civilian staff.

Adams comes to APG from Fort Carson, Colorado, where he served as command sergeant major of the 64th Brigade Support Battalion. Ervin is retiring after more than 31 years of service.

Garrison Commander Col. Gregory R. McClinton presided over the ceremony, which was highlighted by the passing of the NCO Sword the symbol of NCO leadership.

Army tradition states that though the sword is no longer part of the NCO's equipment, using it in the ceremony serves to remind Soldiers that the senior NCO is responsible for order and discipline. It also reminds the NCO of his responsibility to care for the troops.

McClinton gave a special welcome to Ervin's wife and Family members and told Ervin he should be proud of everything the Garrison has accomplished during his tenure.

Much of it, he said, was due to the professionalism and excellence of the Garrison workforce as well as to Ervin's professionalism and vigilance.

He said that trust has been the bedrock of his relationship with his right arm.

"You will be missed," he said. "On behalf of the Installation Management Commander Lt. Gen. Halverson, I say thank you."

McClinton ordered Ervin to "stand down," and directed Ervin's wife Kathy to, "take charge of this Soldier."

He also welcomed Adams and wished him much success.

"I have great confidence, based on your past experience," he said.

Ervin spoke at some length, thanking directorates, tenant organizations, installation officers, NCOs, civilians and his church Family for their support. Using his signature wit, he elicited waves of laughter from the audience with several humorous anecdotes.

He thanked McClinton for his mentorship, calling him "the best commander I've had.

"I deeply appreciate your faith in me," he said.

He added that he appreciated the well wishes shown to his Family and that his only hope is that he finished strong.

"My name is Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Ervin and I am an American Soldier," he said. "God bless all of you, your families, our Soldiers and our great nation."

Adams thanked all Soldiers and program organizers and especially the Team APG workforce for helping him through the transition. He promised that he would work hard for the Garrison and for APG Soldiers.

He said that as a Garrison leader his priority is teamwork and partnership.

"One of the biggest things we have to do as a Garrison is to continue to put the customer first," he said. "We have strong partnerships and we want to ensure that we, as professionals, are doing our best to further develop those relationships.
"APG Strong," he said.

The program included the posting and retiring of the colors by the USAPHC color guard and the singing of the national anthem by Pfc. Stacy Dobson.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams
Adams is a native of Dumas, Texas. He entered the Army in 1991, completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina as a light wheeled vehicle mechanic.

Adam's previous assignments include Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Korea; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; and Fort Carson, Colorado.

He is a veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

Adam's military education includes the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course. He holds a bachelors degree in Science from Excelsior University.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service and Army Commendation medals; German marksmanship and Drivers/Mechanics badges; and he is a recipient of the Ordnance Order of Samuel Sharpe and the Order of Saint Barbara.

Adams is married with one son, one daughter and one grandchild.

Page last updated Mon July 7th, 2014 at 00:00