ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- When you think of an Army ceremony, the first thing that may come to mind is the blast of the howitzers rendering honors. The deafening boom. The smoke. The smell of gunpowder.True to this Army tradition, a battery of howitzers fired a 15-gun salute during a First Army Change of Responsibility ceremony here Oct. 21 as Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Johnson succeeded Command Sgt. Maj. Sam Young as the unit's senior enlisted leader."It's not for me," Young said. "This ceremony is for the Soldiers."There was just one problem leading up to the big day: finding anyone qualified to fire the Arsenal's historic M2A2 105mm howitzers.Young turned to Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Guerard, assigned to First Army's 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, to organize a salute battery of three howitzers for the ceremony."We're not combat arms anymore," Guerard said. "I'm the last [cannon crewmember] left at McCoy."Guerard not only had to learn to fire M2A2 guns, he also had to teach a team of infantrymen with no prior artillery experience.A Worcester, Massachusetts, native with 20 years of service and four deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, Guerard has trained with many field artillery weapons throughout his Army career."I've fired a lot of different guns," Guerard said. "You just got to figure them out. Every gun has its niche."Sgt. 1st Class Robert Lambeth, a Houston native who volunteered to accompany the seven-man battery to the ceremony, credited Guerard with the team's success. "We learned everything from him," Lambeth said. "We never touched [these guns] prior to this."The salute battery carried out their portion of the Change of Responsibility smoothly."As First Army's senior enlisted leader, I'll tell you I'm very proud of this ceremony, and I'm very proud of the noncommissioned officers," Young said. "Because … this is all noncommissioned officers running this ceremony today. So as it goes off without a hitch, you know who to credit."