By Al Vogel, Dugway Proving Ground Public AffairsNovember 16, 2016
DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah -- An Army sword clicking into its sheath signaled the first official act of Dugway Proving Ground's newly installed Command Sergeant Major, during a Nov. 15 ceremony.
Command Sgt. Maj. Joe A. Bonds assumed responsibility as Dugway's senior enlisted leader, coming from the 84th Chemical Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Command Sgt. Maj. Montonya A. Boozier, who has held the position at Dugway since February 2015, is departing for an assignment at U.S. Army Central Command at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.
Col. Sean Kirschner, commander of Dugway Proving Ground, praised Boozier for the, "tremendous impact she has had on this installation" in Soldier and civilian fitness, command maintenance, logistics, units from other commands and the supervision of dozens of VIP visits and ceremonies. Throughout, Kirschner noted, her efforts ensured that Dugway was presented as a professional and competent organization.
"Sgt. Major Boozier has been an invaluable and trusted adviser to myself and (former commander) Col. Fizer. I couldn't have asked for a better Command Sergeant Major; this installation benefitted immensely from her leadership."
In her farewell speech, Boozier praised both military and civilians with whom she worked and became friends, stopping to thank some personally in the audience.
"I go away from here knowing that we as a team put all our efforts together to serve the nation and the Warfighter," she said, adding that despite detractors, Dugway's reputation is "stellar."
Enlisted Soldiers who attain the rank of command sergeant major are the epitome of success in their chosen field. Except for the position of Sergeant Major of the Army, there is no higher grade of rank for enlisted Soldiers.
Referencing the incoming Bonds, Kirschner said that Dugway is, "blessed that the Army has once again provided Dugway with another outstanding noncommissioned officer to take (Boozier's) place."
Before coming to Dugway, Bonds was sergeant major for the 84th Chemical Battalion -- the unit responsible for the institutional training of all chemical warriors from all services.
"I have it on good authority that he left there after doing amazing things for that unit, that installation and our Army," Kirschner said.
A native of Benton Harbor, Michigan, Bonds entered the Army in June 1989. He became an Army Chemical Corps Soldier in 1995. Bonds has served in every leadership position of enlisted personnel, beginning at squad leader, to his current rank of Command Sergeant Major. His Dugway assignment is expected to be two years.
A combat veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom, Bonds is a recipient of the Honorable Order of the Dragon, awarded by the Army Chemical Corps to a select few.
"It's a great opportunity to serve with Team Dugway," Bonds said. "I look forward to making a great place even greater. The mission here is unique. I look forward to executing that mission for our nation's defenders."