ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- A First Army senior noncommissioned officer received his lateral appointment to command sergeant major in a ceremony in First Army headquarters here Dec. 7.
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Harris, a native of Modesto, California, has served five months as the senior medical noncommissioned officer of First Army's command surgeon section. He is now headed to Fort Irwin, California where he will be command sergeant major of Weed Army Community Hospital.
First Army commanding general, Lt. Gen. Michael Tucker, congratulated Harris on reaching the rank of command sergeant major and highlighted Harris' accomplishments during his five months with First Army.
"During his short tenure here, Command Sgt. Maj. Harris has accomplished a lot of great things for First Army's surgeon office. For example, he visited our mobilization platforms early on," Tucker said. "He expanded the surgeon's cell at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, helping to prepare Soldiers for their medical readiness, and helped standardize the demobilization and mobilization medical process for Soldiers and for deploying medical units."
Tucker also praised Harris' initiative and his sense of community outreach within First Army and Rock Island Arsenal.
"He contacted every single state which has a medical unit to discuss any training deficiencies and ensure these medical units had the proper training. Also, he helped develop the Rock Island Arsenal Community Health Promotion Council to improve the quality of life for Rock Island's Soldiers and civilians."
Harris was also recognized for his contributions to the combat medic sustainment program, ensuring they maintain their emergency medical technician accreditations.
Tucker and Command Sgt. Major Sam Young, First Army command sergeant major, presented Harris with a First Army military challenge coin and a command sergeant major certificate of appointment.
Harris was accompanied by his wife, Diane, and daughter, Alli, who had the honor of placing her father's new rank on his uniform.
"It is very humbling that the U.S. Army is giving me the opportunity to be the senior enlisted advisor to Weed Army Community Hospital," Harris said. "My family and I are ready to take on our next adventure."
Harris joined the Army in 1997 as a health care specialist (combat medic) and has served in various leadership and operations positions, including senior company line medic and brigade medical operations noncommissioned officer in charge. He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo for combat and peacekeeping operations. His awards and badges include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, and the Air Assault Badge.
First Army mobilizes, trains, deploys and demobilizes all Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve forces throughout the continental United States, providing trained and ready forces for diverse missions worldwide. First Army is comprised of two divisions: First Army Division East, located at Fort Meade, Md., and First Army Division West, located at Fort Hood, Texas.