Vanguards Welcome New Command Sergeant Major
November 12, 2009
<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. -</b> The Marne Division's sole light-infantry brigade hailed a new senior-enlisted advisor during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at Fort Stewart's Cottrell Field, Nov. 4.
With the passing of the Noncommissioned Officer Sword, Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph D. Altman assumed responsibility of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The ceremony, which officially welcomed the new leader to the Vanguard team, was also held to bid farewell to the brigade's former top enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Louis M. Torres.
"All I ever wanted to be was a good example for all our Soldiers, and I tried to do that by leading from the front every day, in every way," Command Sgt. Maj. Torres said. "And, as I leave, I leave fully satisfied that I was able to be that example for our Soldiers."
Command Sergeant Major Torres, who arrived to Fort Stewart in 2002, served as the Vanguard Brigade's top enlisted leader since 2005. After three deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the former "Vanguard 7" moves on to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
"This assignment has been the highlight of my long career," he said. "I will never forget this division (and) our fallen Soldiers."
The 4th IBCT's new command sergeant major is no stranger to the 3rd ID. Command Sergeant Major Altman served as a first sergeant, operations sergeant major and acting command sergeant major of the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th IBCT, and more recently as the senior enlisted advisor for the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
"This truly feels like my Family and I are home," Command Sgt. Maj. Altman said after assuming responsibility. "I am truly humbled to be in the presence of such great Soldiers and leaders. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together."
Colonel Lou Lartigue, 4th IBCT commander, welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Altman during the ceremony, and said he is confident in his new "battle buddy's" ability to help him lead the light-infantry brigade.
"Command Sergeant Major Altman is more than the right leader at the right time to assume responsibility of 4th IBCT," Col. Lartigue said. "He's exactly the right man for the job. He understands Soldiers and knows what it takes to prepare them for Iraq and keep them safe on the battlefield and successful in their mission. An expert trainer and leader, he's here at the right time as we continue to build our team for combat."
Command Sergeant Major Altman's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal with three silver knots, National Defense Service Medal with one star, Kuwait Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze star, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Ribbon (number 5).
Additionally, he has earned the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge with star, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Pathfinder Badge.