Fort Rucker's 1-58th AOB welcomes new 'guardian'
Soldiers of 1-58th AOB prepare to pass a symbolic sword during a change of responsibility ceremony Feb. 24 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum. From left are Lt. Col. Thomas Glenn Moore, unit commander; outgoing Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Bolden; incoming Sgt. Maj. Jason Palfreeman; and ATC chief/acting first sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Crosby.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Sgt. Maj. Jason Palfreeman became the senior noncommissioned officer Feb. 26 for the 1-58th Airfield Operations Battalion "Guardian Eagles," also known as the first Army AOB to deploy to a combat theater.

Palfreeman changed roles with outgoing Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Bolden during a change of responsibility ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum. The 1-58th AOB made history when they deployed May 16, 2008, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and returned home last year. Bolden helped establish the unit here in 2007 as it's currently known.

Unit commander Lt. Col. Thomas Glenn Moore said the ceremony was bittersweet for him because it marked the end of his service with Bolden - "a stellar, senior NCO (noncommissioned officer)" - but also provided new opportunities with Palfreeman's more than two decades of expertise.

"I have full confidence that this transition will be transparent to the battalion and we will not skip a beat," Moore said.

During the ceremony, the three men, along with Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Crosby, passed a sword between them, a traditional act signifying the change of responsibility. Crosby is the unit's acting first sergeant and an air traffic control chief.

After officially replacing his counterpart, Palfreeman turned to the audience and said he considers each of the Soldiers he now cares for part of his Family. He promised to never let them or his commanders down.

"I look forward to serving with you as your sergeant major," he said. "To you, I make this commitment - you are entitled to good leadership. I will provide you that leadership. I will never place my needs above yours and I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment."

As he said goodbye, Bolden commended his Soldiers for their service and hard work as a young, recently deployed unit here.

"1-58th AOB is a great organization, and I am happy to have been there to help stand up the unit from scratch, equip (it) and train Soldiers. It's not the quantity, but the quality of Soldiers that gets the job done," he said.

Palfreeman came to the AOB after serving as the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group brigade operations NCO, according to Moore. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children - Jason, Antonio, Coreena and Olivia.

Bolden transferred to the 164th TAOG as the operations sergeant major, supported by his wife, Sandra, and their children, Sydney and Kendrick.

Page last updated Fri March 5th, 2010 at 13:55