FORT SILL, Okla. -- Standing in front of McNair Hall during his retreat ceremony May 30, Command Sgt. Maj. Dwight Morrisey said after 35 years he needed a little more time to say goodbye.

"35 years is a long time - I don't care what you're doing," said Morrisey. "When I started this journey, President Carter had informed American athletes the U.S. was going to boycott the Olympics. Favorite TV shows back then were 'The Love Boat' and 'Little House on the Prairie.' The Phillies had just won the World Series and gasoline, can you believe it, was $1.19 a gallon."

He also said a brand new car back then cost $7,201 and the song that topped the music charts was "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.

"It's amazing how time has flown."

Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, then Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, said personally Morrisey was a trusted friend and an extremely capable noncommissioned officer.

"Being the backbone of the Fires Center is no small task. The responsibilities of the position are so numerous and vast that if we tried to list them all out here today all these Soldiers would die of the heat. So we'll summarize the sergeant major's responsibilities by the two named foremost in the NCOs Creed: accomplishment of the mission and welfare of the Soldiers. We can say without a doubt that Command Sgt. Maj. Morrisey excelled in these responsibilities."

McDonald said because of Morrisey's untiring efforts Fort Sill has never looked better and has never moved forward as far as it has; with a new elementary school being built, new water mains, a new Central Issue Facility and a huge new gym.

"I would begin by thanking Maj. Gen. Halverson for selecting me for this position. Also a special thanks to Maj. Gen. McDonald for allowing me to continue to serve as the center sergeant major. Sir, you have been a tremendous mentor and friend to me and my family. It's been a great ride," said Morrisey.

He thanked a slew of sergeant majors and every Soldier and civilian who helped him enjoy successes in his Army career.

"Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my beautiful wife. You have been there during numerous late nights and long weekends in my effort to take care of Soldiers. Each time duty has called you never complained. You supported me and the Army on a daily basis. And for that you have my fondest and most heartfelt thanks. I love you."

Before Command Sgt. Brian Lindsey stepped up to the challenge of being the FCoE command sergeant major, Morrisey shared a lesson in how to keep the Army moving forward.

"Make no mistake about it, our Soldiers effectiveness and survival will be determined by how well we train and equip them. As we continue to get back to the basics we must strive to live above the common level of life and choose the harder right over the easy wrong. It is a principle that applies both to combat as well as the garrison environment: as a commander, command sergeant major, first sergeant, platoon leader, platoon sergeant, squad leader always remember that you serve your Soldiers. That's all it's about."

Morrisey said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve as the FCoE command sergeant major and he told Lindsey he will enjoy it as well.

"This is a great community, great post. I'll tell you if I had to do it all over again I'd tell you go on back to D.C. I'll take it from here," said Morrisey.

"Hey sergeant major I'm not going back to D.C.," was the quick response from Lindsey as he took the podium.

Lindsey thanked his family for attending and he said although his mother was not there physically, she was there in spirit.

"I am sure she is looking down on us with a big proud smile on her face hollering out those famous words that she always did, 'That's my son.'"

Lindsey thanked his wife, Vicki, who he said must be part fortune teller because she predicted he would one day take on this role.

Lindsey is no stranger to Fort Sill as he has served as a battalion and brigade command sergeant major and he and his wife have shared history here.

"We are just a few short miles from where we attended elementary school at Geronimo Road. I'm kind of saddened because I see it doesn't have much time left on the map," said Lindsey.

Lindsey finished by saying he is aware of the many daily tasks he will be taking on and he is ready.

"From the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, to the Basic Officer Leaders Course to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, just to name a few of the daily tasks here at the Fires Center, I vow to commit my time and energy and continue the already established pride in history of this great installation."