Fort Sill Garrison passes sword to new CSM
June 21, 2012
The Fort Sill Garrison received a new command sergeant major during a change of responsibility ceremony June 12 in front of McNair Hall.
Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Miller was installed as the new Garrison CSM succeeding Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Hall, who had served in the position for two years.
Col. Paul Hossenlopp, Fort Sill Garrison commander, officiated the ceremony. He said even though the ceremony replacing Hall marked a bittersweet occasion for him and the Fort Sill community, he acknowledged Hall's outstanding 30-year career in the Army.
"In my 25 years of service there has been no one who can care for Soldiers and families more than Sergeant Major Hall," Hossenlopp said. "No one grows up in the garrison business. But Sergeant Major Hall mastered the challenge and capitalized on his exceptional relationships with the leadership of Fort Sill. He continuously made this installation a better place to work, serve our country, and care for our Soldiers and families."
Hall is retiring after 30 years of service in the Army, having started out as a cannon crew member. He rose to the level of battalion command sergeant major of several field artillery units, lastly with the 434th Field Artillery Brigade, all at Fort Sill. While serving as the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery CSM, Hall deployed to Iraq as a member of Task Force Thunderbolt.
The change of responsibility was symbolized by the passing of the noncommissioned officer's sword from Hall to Miller. The sword is a completely functional weapon that symbolizes the relinquishing of responsibility and authority for the outgoing to the incoming command sergeant major. It was a regular weapon carried by sergeants for more than 70 years and now symbolizes the dedicated service of a command sergeant major.
In introducing the new Garrison CSM to the audience, Hossenlopp pointed out Miller is no stranger to Fort Sill, having served several tours here. Miller comes to his new position from Fort Carson, Colo., where he was the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, CSM. He has been deployed in combat four times, most recently when his battalion transitioned from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn. Miller has served in the Army for 29 years.
He acknowledged his gratitude to the Fort Sill Garrison command for selecting him to be the new CSM.
"For me, this is an opportunity and a dream come true. Not only for the benefit of being back home with my family but being a part of the Garrison command team is special," Miller said. "It's an awesome responsibility providing the most effective services that make a difference for our Soldiers and their families.
"We've got about 98 percent of our Soldiers who get up every morning and do great things. If we could just focus on them and continue to mentor and train them, we will do well. Because we have great Soldiers, we have a great Army, and I feel very comfortable going to bed at night, because I know we have great Soldiers out there on watch," said Miller.