CSM Cedric Burns became the 197th Infantry Brigade's interim top noncommissioned officer during a change of responsibility ceremony Friday at the Collins Training Center.
Outgoing CSM William Morgan gave up the duties to retire.
No stranger to the brigade, Burns has served as battalion command sergeant major for 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, for the last 15 months. He will have full authority and responsibilities of the position until a permanent selection is made, said COL Ryan Kuhn, brigade commander.
"CSM Burns has tremendous talent and capabilities, and he is exactly the right Infantryman to lead the brigade right now," Kuhn said. "He's a proven combat veteran of many tours, and he's held every leadership position there is in the Infantry from team leader all the way to command sergeant major. There will be no degradation of skills from CSM Morgan to CSM Burns."
Although the timeline for the permanent selection is unclear, Burns said the brigade will continue moving forward.
"Goals will still be set, and we will exceed those and make more," he said. "It may be a month or it may be five months, but I'm prepared to serve as long as the Army needs me."
Burns entered the Army at Fort Benning in 1988. Since then he has completed rotations at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Vilseck, Germany and deployed to Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait, Honduras and Iraq multiple times. Currently pursuing his master's degree, Burns' list of awards include the Bronze Star Medal (with two oak leaf clusters) and Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak leaf clusters).
Morgan, who plans to remain in the Columbus area with his wife and children, said he is confident the brigade will be in good hands.
He thanked all those who supported him, including his family, civilian staff and all the brigade Soldiers.
"The last year has been the most rewarding year of my career," Morgan said.
The Bridgewater, Mass., native entered active duty in 1982 at Fort Benning. His assignments include stints with the 75th Ranger Battalion and the United States Military Academy. He received the Bronze Star Medal (with oak leaf cluster) and Meritorious Service medal (with three oak leaf clusters). He has completed the basic Airborne Course, Air Assault Course, basic and advanced noncommissioned officer course and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.
Kuhn said during the 10 months he served alongside Morgan, the outgoing command sergeant major made the brigade the best it could be and reminded everyone what makes the U.S. Army the premiere force is the world.
"What makes us great is our noncommissioned officers leading from the front," Kuhn said. "CSM Morgan has been an example for all NCOs."

Page last updated Thu May 6th, 2010 at 17:06