By Sgt. 1st Class John BrownJanuary 16, 2018
When a Brigade Command Sgt. Major passes the duties of Senior Enlisted Advisor to a successor, the command is met with mixed emotions; there is the sadness of losing a precious member of the team and the excitement of welcoming new mentorship and leadership philosophies.
Command Sgt. Major Teresa Duncan bid a touching farewell to the 8th Military Police Brigade's Watchdog Nation as she transferred her responsibilities as the brigade's senior enlisted advisor to Command Sgt. Major William Mayfield in a ceremony on Schofield Barracks' Hamilton Field, January 9.
Col. Shannon-Mikal Lucas, the commander of the 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, said that he had not anticipated presiding over the ceremony because he and Duncan had only been in command since June 8th, 2016.
Lucas reminisced that the foundation of their teamwork actually started much earlier, "It really started long before. . . when we first met at the Pre-Command Course in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; we were not attending the same course, but had an overlap, so we linked up for a dinner and about three hours later, after fruitful discussion on leadership, philosophies, Soldiers, and of course Notre Dame football, we called it a night."
"We definitely clicked right away and from that point I knew I would be one lucky commander," said Lucas.
Two battalion headquarters and twelve companies of Watchdog Soldiers stood on the parade field while Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Chemical, and Military Police emergency response vehicles with lights flashing flanked the ceremony.
Lucas told the crowd of nearly 200 in attendance and others watching via social media that, "These are truly the most unselfish and dedicated Soldiers that I have served with; there is no other MP brigade in today's Army that has the all-hazards response capability that the Watchdogs provide and they do it on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year with no days off."
Lucas added that he is consistently amazed by the achievements of the Soldiers within the brigade and their level of professionalism.
While the brigade's senior enlisted advisor, Duncan's motivation and mentorship was instrumental in the success of the brigade.
"I just have to brag a little on (our Soldier's) achievements," said Lucas, "This includes having the Army's 2016 Soldier of the Year; U.S. Army Pacific's Best Soldier of the Year; back to back winners of the Military Table of Organization and Equipment medium company category for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence; two MP companies receiving the annual Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Farley Award for the best MP units in the Pacific; three consecutive championships in the team category during the Army's annual Military Culinary Arts Competition; and several Na Koa and 8th TSC volunteer awards."
"Those are some commonly known accomplishments, but the one I am most grateful for is your (Duncan's) never ending desire to set the tone of professionalism and for your continuous drive to build readiness and ensure this brigade is ready to 'fight tonight'," said Lucas.
Duncan, who will soon assume the duties as the Commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, said that she was not prepared to leave the 8th MP BDE and joked that if she refused to take the field, she wouldn't have to leave the position.
In her final address to the Soldiers, Duncan broke with tradition and asked the entire formation to form a horseshoe around her.
She told the Soldiers, "It's truly humbling to have been your Watchdog Seven for the last 18 months; you all have inspired me each and every day . . . you are so amazing and I will miss each and every one of your faces."
Duncan went on to thank her wife for her patience and support before thanking Lucas and his family for their friendship, mentorship, and support.
As Duncan departs for her next assignment, Lucas made sure the Soldiers in formation knew that he was confident in the Army's selection of Mayfield as the new brigade senior enlisted advisor.
"The next Watchdog 7 chapter is to be written and we got lucky again; the brigade will truly be gaining another great Army Team in Command Sgt. Maj. William Mayfield and his family," said Lucas.
Lucas and Mayfield had served together previously at Fort Drum, N.Y.
"He is well respected within the Military Police Community; he is a combat tested MP; he respects and values this team of true professionals, and I have no doubt he'll bring great ideas and enthusiasm to the brigade," said Lucas.
Mayfield thanked Lucas and Duncan for their messages, thanked those in attendance, and then turned his attention to his wife and children.
"Thank you for all of the support you have given me during this Army journey," said Mayfield, "you make me proud every day."