Colorado Springs, Colo. - Under a sunny spring sky, the 117th Space Battalion took a step toward the future by conducting a change of responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy P. Ward to Command Sgt. Maj. Dean R. Parsons on March 8 here.

Ward is not only leaving the battalion but the Army as well. After the passing of the unit colors between the commander and the incoming/ outgoing command sergeant majors, Ward stood in front of his battalion for the last time and spoke.

"I love this country, the Army and the Soldiers in it," said Ward. "There is a lot I am going to miss about this...eating cold MREs, the wind passing by as I hang out of an aircraft - but most of all I am going to miss the Soldiers."

Ward continued his speech, thanking his family for their support over the years and calling his wife his "Command Sgt. Mrs."

The incoming senior leader had his moment to speak to his new battalion as well.

"I believe that actions and deeds speak louder than words," said Parsons. "I look forward to my time with this battalion...thank you," he said as he stepped away from the podium.

Both of these senior non-commissioned officers have extensive backgrounds, in many ways similar to one another. Both served in the Special Forces and spent some time stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. Both have been on exercises throughout the Pacific region of the world. Parsons, who was initially in the Marine Corps, served in embassies all across the globe to include many countries in Africa before joining the Army and volunteering his time with Special Forces.

With one command sergeant major leaving and another one stepping in, there is no questioning the realization of the fact; in the position of command sergeant major, there are many challenges and obstacles to overcome. Any NCO will confirm it; the decisions made in those situations earn the respect of Soldiers.

Acting and not just relying on words is a definite way to capture not only a Soldier's attention but his/ her respect as well. Ward has seen his old battalion being called up on more than 15 different mobilizations. Parsons is stepping into some pretty big shoes, but with his action-over-words leadership mentality, the challenge should be one he can conquer.