Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, 10th Mountain Division command sergeant major, addresses Fort Drum community members during a Mountain Salute ceremony in his honor Feb. 16 at Fort Drum's Magrath Sport Complex.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Members of the Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division (LI) community welcomed their new senior enlisted adviser during a Mountain Salute ceremony Thursday at Magrath Sport Complex.

Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, 10th Mountain Division command sergeant major, entered the Army in 1984 and has served 57 months in combat with 75th Ran-ger Regiment in Panama, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The only Army on earth that has the Noncommissioned Officer Corps as professional, (and) tactically and technically capable of carrying out combat operations against an enemy, is the United States Army," said Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander.

"The United States Army would not be the United States Army without the sergeants of the Army."

As the division command sergeant major, Merritt is the senior NCO trainer, and he said he takes that job seriously.

"I take that all to heart," Merritt said. "I'm glad to be here. This is where I want to be and where I need to be."

Merritt said one of ways he measures his accomplishments is how he leaves an organization.

"If I could leave here, leave it a better fort and a better community than I had when I got here, I think that's your major success," he said.

During Merritt's previous duty assignment, he served as the 14th regimental sergeant major of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Benning, Ga.

Page last updated Wed February 22nd, 2012 at 00:00