FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 26, 2016)--Command Sgt. Maj. Isaac Ragusa III relinquished responsibility of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) to Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Tinker May 26 in the Finals Hall of the Pool International Range Complex.
Ragusa's new assignment will be brigade operations sergeant major at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
Ragusa cited two people who have helped him most in his life: his wife Cindy, who he said is "… my everything," and his mentor and "dad," Morgan Arthur.
He said although he is leaving for another assignment, USAMU is not just another unit to him.
"From Civilians to Soldiers, from shooters to gunsmiths, everybody is a big family here," Ragusa said. "I am going to miss them and the friendships we have built over my last two years as the command sergeant major in this unit."
During his 26 years in the Army, Ragusa served in positions from Infantry team leader to command sergeant major with assignments at Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Hood, Texas. His combat tours include Operation Just Cause, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom I and II, Operation Iraqi Freedom II and III, and Operation Spartan Shield Kuwait.
However, Ragusa's assignment to the USAMU represented one of the most difficult challenges in his military career.
Ragusa immediately had to learn six different shooting disciplines and all of the competition rules so that when he accompanied his Soldiers to matches and championships, he could serve as their advocate if something was amiss.
"This is the first unit where I am not the subject matter expert in the unit--these Soldiers are," Ragusa said. "I am here to protect our Soldiers and the Army's investment in them. We truly have talented athletes in the Army Marksmanship Unit who possess talents I have never seen before--it's amazing."
One of several goals during his assignment was to ensure all USAMU Soldiers had the same standard competition and demonstration uniforms--to include cold and wet weather gear--that were properly branded to reflect the Army and USAMU.
"I made a standards book that has uniforms common to all of our Soldiers, and it also has individual team uniforms," Ragusa said. "I wanted every Soldier to look the same and be equipped to fight the elements."
Ragusa said he will leave USAMU confident in the knowledge that he tried to provide a positive and lasting impression on each Soldier and Civilian in the unit.
"I want people to remember me as the sergeant major who was willing to help you whenever you need help," he said. "I spent a lot of time with the teams and each Soldier and Civilian. I want them to not only respect me for my rank but for the person I am."
Ragusa's military awards include the Bronze Star (5th award), Meritorious Service Medal (5th award), Army Commendation Medal (5th award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Valorous Unit Award (2nd award), Army Good Conduct Medal (8th award), National Defense Service Medal with bronze service stars (BSS), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal with BSS, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Campaign Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (4th award), Army service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Malaysian Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantrymen Badge, and Combat Infantrymen Badge with star.
Tinker, who joined the Army in 1995, was last assigned to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, where he was the brigade operations sergeant major.
His duty stations include Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Drum, New York; and Fort Riley, Kansas.
He has served in all leadership positions from infantry team leader to sergeant major. This is his first assignment as a command sergeant major.
Tinker, who visited USAMU last year, said the professionalism of all the Soldiers and Civilians had a lasting effect on him.
"Everyone wants to be here and is motivated," he said. "That makes coming to work easy and fun. I want to be here too; I am excited and honored to be part of the team."
Tinker's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2nd award), Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), Army Commendation Medal with V Device, Army commendation Medal (6th award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Citation, Marine Corp Good Conduct Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal (2nd award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Noncommissioned officer Professional Development Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, United Nations Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, the Valorous Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, Parachutist Badge and Air Assault Badge.
He resides in Columbus, Georgia, with his wife, Libbie. They have two sons: Nick, age 29, and Ben, age 21.
Editor's Note: The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's mission is winning national and international shooting competitions and advancing small-arms lethality to demonstrate Army marksmanship capability and enhance marksmanship effectiveness in combat. USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade and Army Marketing and Research Group.