Guardsman serves as fourth CSM for Ranger battalion
November 16, 2009
FORT BENNING, Ga. -- Command Sgt. Maj. William Paul made history Oct. 29 when he became the first National Guard Soldier to serve as the 4th Ranger Training Battalion senior NCO.
Col. Douglas Flohr, commander of the Ranger Training Brigade, said he is confident Paul will succeed in the position because of his background.
Paul was a first sergeant for three years in the Pre-Ranger program at the National Guard Warrior Training Center and has worked with RTB since he arrived here in 2005.
"So when we started looking for a (command) sergeant major, he was the obvious choice," Flohr said. "We've been very lucky to make this whole thing work."
Paul said he was honored to have been selected and excited to begin working with the unit.
"To be the command sergeant major of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, ... it's a dream come true," Paul said.
Paul replaced Sgt. Maj. Kevin Martin, who became the operations sergeant major for the Ranger Training Brigade.
Flohr said he didn't remember a Guardsman ever becoming the battalion's senior enlisted Soldier, but the arrangement benefits both components.
"We'll get a great sergeant major here, and they'll become even more synchronized with our efforts," he said. "Since the war started, we've always tried to work toward one Army between active duty, the Guard and Reserves. With the fact that we are in the eighth year of a very long war, we're closer now than we've ever been. It just behooves both of us to work together. I think this is going to help Ranger School tremendously."
Col. Steven Bapp, special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard, said Paul contributed to making the WTC Pre-Ranger program one of the best in the Army. He added that Paul will bring back insight to the WTC.
Retired Sgt. Maj. Tom Siter, the former WTC command sergeant major and its current executive officer, said Paul is a perfect fit for 4th RTB.
"Billy is a very hard-working, selfless, dedicated individual who is truly committed to training Soldiers," Siter said. "For the Ranger Training Brigade and 4th RTB to give the National Guard and (CSM) Paul this opportunity is just amazing. It speaks volumes of the relationship that the active component and the reserve component have on this installation."
At the Nov. 5 change of responsibility ceremony, Paul told those in attendance he appreciates of the opportunity.
"This is an awesome day for me," he said. "4th RTB has a long history of outstanding leadership, and I plan to continue that leadership."