• Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), promotes 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham during the 100th MDB's Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18.

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and...

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), promotes 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham during the 100th MDB's Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters...

  • Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), passes the sword to 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18. The passing of the sword signifies the changing of responsibility from outgoing first sergeant, 1st Sgt. William Ray, to Cunningham.

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and...

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), passes the sword to 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters...

  • Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), speaks to the audience during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18. During the ceremony, 1st Sgt. William Ray passed the sword to 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham signifying a changing of responsibility.

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and...

    Capt. William Shanahan, Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), speaks to the audience during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs...

  • 1st Sgt. William Ray speaks to his formation as their first sergeant for the last time during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18. Ray passed the sword that signifies his relinquishing of his responsibility to incoming 1st Sgt. Robert Cunningham.

    1st Sgt. William Ray speaks to his formation as...

    1st Sgt. William Ray speaks to his formation as their first sergeant for the last time during the Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18. Ray passed the sword that signifies his relinquishing of...

  • 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) Command Sgt. Maj. Russell Hamilton, shakes 1st Sgt. William Ray's hand and shares a word of congratulations for a job well done after the brigade's Change of Responsibility ceremony at brigade headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 18.

    100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based...

    100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) Command Sgt. Maj. Russell Hamilton, shakes 1st Sgt. William Ray's hand and shares a word of congratulations for a job well done after the brigade's Change of Responsibility ceremony at...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The senior non-commissioned officers of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) passed the sword to a new enlisted leader during a Change of Responsibility ceremony Oct. 18.

Master Sgt. Robert Cunningham was promoted to first sergeant before he was passed the sword signifying his new responsibility as the first sergeant of the 100th MDB.

"I'd like to first express my humble gratitude for being given the opportunity to serve you as your new first sergeant," said Cunningham. "It will be my passion to ensure all Soldiers will receive quality leadership, training and mentorship within all levels of the brigade."

Passing the responsibility to him was 1st Sgt. William Ray, who served the 100th as first sergeant for the past four years and will be moving into the operations section of the brigade.

"When you're a first sergeant, you guys are my children. I worry about you, I try to do everything I can to make you succeed," said Ray addressing the brigade. "Thank you (Col. Greg Bowen) for giving me the opportunity to be the first sergeant. I'd like to thank (Command Sgt. Maj. Russ Hamilton) for being my mentor and I'd like to thank my wife and my kids."

During the ceremony, the leaders spoke to Soldiers about the work they have done as a unit and how each will do his or her part to make sure the transition is smooth.

The Headquarter and Headquarters Battery commander talked about the impact Ray had made on him over the last four years and how he has helped him.

"I can honestly say that he made every decision with the best interest of the battery in mind and always thought about the battery first," said Shanahan. "He's taught me a lot, and I'll miss him."

Shanahan also advised the Soldiers to heed his example.

"NCOs, I would encourage you to follow his example and always think of what's best for the battery, the unit or the Army," added Shanahan.

As a gift, Shanahan gave Ray a new red pen to use on his operation orders he will be doing as the unit's operations sergeant.

Ray finished off his comments to the brigade by singling out a few Soldiers.

"I can't stay up here and thank everybody who's helped me out," said Ray. "But I have been taught a lot of things by Sgt. 1st Class Rene Saiz, Staff Sgt. Reeder and Master Sgt. Eddie Negron; so, we all learn and hopefully I have taught you something."

But as one man leaves his leadership role, the next one has to keep it going.

Cunningham laid out his plans and expectations while addressing his new unit.

"I will provide the total success through (the Non-commissioned Officer's Development Program) and all categories of training," said Cunningham. "I expect NCOs to be the example, know their Soldiers and train them. Do what is expected as a leader, to include implied tasks. I expect all Soldiers to live the Army Values and the Warrior Ethos and to instill them in your subordinates and peers alike."

Cunningham also challenged leaders to take care of the brigade as a whole, not as individuals, and to take the Army Values to heart. He closed with a message for the troops to take home with them.

"I realize there are many expectations in place set and improved by the previous leadership," said Cunningham. "I hope to meet and exceed those expectations. Once again, I would like to thank those in attendance for your service to this great nation and the opportunity to serve you. Go home and thank your families. For they are the backbone of the Soldiers just as NCOs are the back bone of the Army."

Page last updated Fri October 28th, 2011 at 14:34