By Aiko Brum, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsAugust 13, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii welcomed its new command sergeant major, here, Aug. 5.
The garrison commander, Col. Richard Fromm II, transferred responsibilities from Command Sgt. Maj. Philip Brunwald to Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Felicioni during a change of responsibility ceremony at Weyand Field.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Phil Brunwald and his lovely wife, Rebecca, both have been an invaluable part of the garrison command team during the past two years," said Fromm, noting these years were both "tumultuous and challenging" for the Army.
Budget cuts, downsizing, personnel reductions, sequestration and employee furloughs demanded action during Brunwald's tour, the commander said, also noting that while units were deploying and redeploying from Iraq and Afghanistan, the garrison was responding to a tsunami, two bomb threats and three major wildfires, among other issues.
"His mantra has always been the same, 'Take care of our customers,'" said Fromm.
Brunwald worked with the installation's partners and communities to support the garrison's population of more than 98,000 Soldiers, other military members, families, civilians and retirees.
He pushed the First Sergeants Barracks Initiative to secure efficient housing management; promoted the Army Career Alumni Program (now called Soldier for Life: Transition Assistance Program) and the Sponsorship Program; invigorated Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) participation by 150 percent; and was an "outstanding mentor to fellow sergeants major, senior NCOs (noncommissioned officers) and officers," said Fromm.
Fromm also extended appreciation to Rebecca Brunwald, stating, "She is the epitome of southern hospitality" for her work as a liaison for Operation Homefront Hawaii, as a board member for Parent to Parent and much more.
"It's been an honor to support you this short period of time," said Brunwald, who thanked many personnel, including his wife; the former garrison commander, Col. Daniel Whitney; Fromm; and the cooperative efforts of all who helped the installation to win the Army Community of Excellence Award.
"This has been one of the most rewarding leadership challenges I've had in 27 years," Brunwald said. "I'm going to miss Hawaii and the garrison more than they know."
The Brunwalds are transferring back to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for their fourth tour.
Felicioni comes to Hawaii from Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he served as the garrison command sergeant major.
"I've shared with him that Hawaii is a bit more complicated and challenging," said Fromm, "with 22 installations, 10 general officer commands and a host of other units."
Felicioni thanked the garrison for its "warm reception and quick integration to the community," and said he and his wife, Sun, are looking forward to meeting and working with everyone.
"Always remember … take care of one another, work as a team and strive to make improvements -- not only at work, but in your life. Support and defend," Felicioni said.