New JBM-HH CSM assumes responsibility
January 25, 2011
The end of one era and the start of a new one began Jan. 19 as Command Sgt. Maj. Jefferson Varner III, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall outgoing command sergeant major, was replaced by Command Sgt. Maj. Necati Akpinar during the assumption of responsibility ceremony.
Originally from Hanak, Turkey, Akpinar enlisted in the U.S. Army on Oct. 1, 1990, as an airborne infantryman. He was later re-classed to aviation operations specialist.
In recent years Akpinar has served as first sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th Combat Aviation Regiment; sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment and command sergeant major, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii. Akpinar also holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Gazi University, Turkey, and dual master's degrees in aviation safety and aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida.
He has received several awards including: the Order of Saint Michael Medal, NATO Medal, Army Commendation Medal, second award and National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star.
The beginning of the ceremony was marked when Spc. Joel Castillo, presented Regina Akpinar, the command sergeant major's wife, with yellow roses.
''The color yellow represents friendship, joy and new beginnings," said Sgt. 1st Class John Henry, the narrator for the ceremony. Castillo also presented the sergeant major's son Nikolas Akpinar with a special gift to welcome him to the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall community.
Upon conclusion of the gift giving, the official party consisting of Col. Carl R. Coffman, commander of JBM-HH, Akpinar and Staff Sgt. David Howell, the sword bearer, entered the ceremony being held at Spates Community Club. The singing of the National Anthem by Sgt. 1st Class Colin Eaton, The U.S. Army Band, and an invocation by Chap. (Lt. Col.) Matt Woodbery, the installation chaplain followed the arrival.
While Coffman, Akpinar and Howell performed the noncommissioned officer sword ceremony, Henry gave a brief history of the sword's meaning.
''At this time the sword bearer will pass the sword to Col. Coffman. Col. Coffman will now pass the sword to Command Sgt. Maj. Akpinar signifying the passing of the responsibility and trust of the senior noncommissioned officer of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall," said Henry.
''Command Sgt. Maj. Akpinar receives the sword from the commander which signifies the acceptance of responsibility as senior noncommissioned officer of JBM-HH. Command sergeant major returns the sword back to the bearer signifying the sword belongs to the noncommissioned officers," Henry remarked.
Before concluding the ceremony, both Coffman and Akpinar spoke about the assumption of responsibility and what is to come.
''You have a new task to master, but I'm confident that you are going to do well taking care of our Soldiers, our Marines, our civilians and our retirees in the National Capital Region," Coffman said. ''Your reputation of excellence certainly precedes itself. You have a reputation for maintaining standards and taking care of our servicemembers. Your dedication to our Army and being a part of the team is well appreciated. I again welcome Command Sgt. Maj. Akpinar, Regina and Nikolas," said Coffman.
''I don't know what to say, it was a very warm welcome the moment Col. Coffman and Mrs. Coffman came to the airport to pick us up. We knew we were in good hands already," said Akpinar.
''I am here to learn and I will do my best to work with you guys and make this community better for everyone. And, aloha," he said, using the greeting from his last duty assignment.