FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - Command Sgt. Maj. Johnnie Jones III passed responsibility as the senior noncommissioned officer of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks to Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Godwin at a ceremony April 24 on Main Parade.

After Jones passed an NCO saber to Godwin symbolizing the transfer of responsibility, Soldiers of the 705th Military Police Internment and Resettlement Battalion, the 40th MP I/R Battalion, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USDB, conducted a pass in review in honor of Jones.

"Command Sergeant Major Jones has been a great command-team partner, a great battle buddy, and has become a good friend as well. I will miss his optimism and his mission-first, Soldiers-always approach to leadership," said Col. James Gray, USDB commandant and host for the ceremony.

Jones, who earlier the same day received the Legion of Merit, is retiring after 31 years of military service, and expressed his gratitude to all those who helped him in his career.

"It has always been about the American Soldier, service members, civilians and family members," he said. "It is the American Soldiers that I have had an opportunity to stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder, that allowed me to get where I am today."

Jones concluded an emotional speech by thanking friends and family for their years of support.

"This ride started 31 years ago, and it's now time for me to close this chapter and fade away. My only hope is that in some way I helped someone along the way," he said.

First Sgt. Ronald Hussung of HHC, USDB, has known Jones since 2003, and he said Jones provided constant mentorship and leadership to his subordinate leaders.

"He's what I consider a Soldiers' leader. He's an individual that's there for you 24 hours a day. He loves to give you advice and help you professionally develop yourself," Hussung said.

Godwin comes to Fort Leavenworth after serving as command sergeant major of the 14th MP Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

"I'm excited about being here. Without a doubt, detainee operations is still the biggest game in town," Godwin said. "My job now is to take care of Soldiers, and I vow to the Soldiers on the field that's exactly what I'm going to do."

Hussung said Godwin is known as a leader and true professional in the Military Police community.
"Command Sergeant Major Godwin has a wealth of knowledge, he's worked here before and has an excellent reputation within our career management field, so I know for a fact that the Soldiers are very excited about working with him," he said.

Part of Godwin's reputation is built on his service as a drill sergeant, in airborne units and in multiple deployments to Iraq. Among his many awards and medals includes the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

"This is awesome," Godwin said. "It's time to get it on."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16