Fort Leonard Wood CBRNS command sergeant major retires, passes sword
May 2, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Command Sgt. Maj. Ted Lopez relinquished responsibility as the 11th regimental command sergeant major for the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School to Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Arnold during a ceremony at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence plaza Thursday.
Col. Phil Visser, USACBRNS commandant, told those in attendance that not only were they witnessing the change of responsibility, but also celebrating Lopez's retirement.
"In 1979, Command Sgt. Maj. Lopez joined a profession of arms … and he has faithfully served our nation with honor and distinction until this very day," Visser said. "After centuries of conflict, our Army remains an American profession of arms comprised of experts certified in the ethical application of land combat power. The strength of our profession is the professional Soldier."
Visser said Lopez loved being a Soldier, loved Soldiers and loved everything about
"His love of our profession of arms is manifest in all that he does," Visser said. "It's that love that fuels his zeal and enthusiasm in all that he endeavors to do."
Lopez said the past four years as the regimental command sergeant major for USACBRNS have been phenomenal.
"I have had the opportunity to see almost all 23,642 CBRN warriors in all three composts; active, National Guard and Reserve. I have visited more than 800 different places, units and countries," Lopez said. "I have been able to spend time with our warriors forward deployed and across all the peninsulas, and I will tell you the highlight of my career is watching our warriors in action, standing point, making full-spectrum operations and consequence management look simple."
Lopez said because of Visser, the Chemical Corps has a campaign plan to lead the regiment into 2020.
"We have the best equipment, the best of training, the best facilities. The Chemical Corps is going to stay highly technical and highly motivated," Lopez said. "We have a plan to support both full spectrum and consequence management both foreign and domestic."
"Our warriors are our most precious resource, and it has been my job to make sure our corps knows and is reminded daily of our charge," Lopez added. "I believe we are executing training at the highest level, and we are setting our CBRN warriors up to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow."
Although Lopez is saying "goodbye" to Fort Leonard Wood, Arnold is saying "hello" for the second time in his career. He said he is honored and humbled to serve as the 12th regimental command sergeant major.
"Viviane and I are excited for the opportunity to work for the CBRN Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their Family members," Arnold said. "Just so we are clear, I work for you, not the other way around."
Arnold was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood from 2006 to 2010 and served as the 3rd Chemical Brigade's operations sergeant major, 82nd Chemical Battalion command sergeant major and 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment's command sergeant major.
Arnold said he was looking forward "to get out across the Army and talk to and train, teach, coach and mentor CBRN Soldiers."
Arnold said beyond the vision of the Chemical Corps, which is outlined in the regiment's campaign plan, he has additional goals he wants to pursue.
"I want to unify our regiment -- that is my goal," Arnold said. "Of course I'm not going to do that by myself. I'm going to do that through partnerships, through other senior leaders, but I want them to pull in our guys that are sometimes sitting one-deep in organizations so they know they have somebody to go to. So, they know there are other CBRN Soldiers in their footprint.
Arnold enlisted in the Army in February 1989. His previous assignments include 2-29 Field Artillery in Baumholder, Germany; 164th Chemical Company in Fort Irwin, Calif.; 1-8th Field Artillery and 7th Field Artillery in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; 82nd Chemical Battalion in Fort McClellan, Ala.; 27th Engineer Battalion, 21st Chemical Company, and 82nd Forward Support Battalion (Airborne); Fort Bragg, N.C.; U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Fort Bliss, Texas; U.S. Army Garrison DAEGU, South Korea. Arnold has deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.