By Amanda M. Rahimian, U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa Public AffairsMarch 2, 2017
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery participated in a Change of Responsibility ceremony for the unit's senior enlisted leader March 2 at Torii Station.
The ceremony featured sweeping views of the ocean, static displays of air defense equipment, and the passing of the battalion colors that marks every change of responsibility in the U.S. Army. Ceremonies today are conducted much as they were throughout history in keeping with tradition and to motivate esprit de corps.
Command Sgt. Maj. Stephan Mumpower relinquished duties as the battalion command sergeant major to Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Pinkham in a ceremony led by Lt. Col. Scott Dellinger.
"It's been a tremendous journey and an absolute honor to serve with you as your battalion command sergeant major," said Mumpower during his closing remarks. The Soldiers of 1-1 ADA never cease to amaze me with their determination and willpower."
The change of responsibility ceremony is a time-honored military custom, upheld by every unit in the U.S. Army to both honor the outgoing senior enlisted leader and to pass responsibility on to the incoming sergeant major. The ceremony takes place in front of a formation of Soldiers and an audience of Families and friends, ensuring that all within the unit recognize the change in leadership.
The battalion has called Okinawa home since Nov. 30, 2006, when it was deployed to Kadena Air Base from Fort Bliss, Texas. Mumpower served in 1-1 ADA for the past two years, arriving in March 2015. His next assignment will be as the senior enlisted leader for the office of the commandant of the Air Defense Artillery Branch in Fort Sill, Okla.
"None of our battalion's success would have been possible without the hard work and unyielding support of the Soldiers and sergeants of the 'Snake Eyes Battalion,' whose support channel was contingent upon Command Sgt. Maj. Mumpower's leadership," said Lt. Col. Scott Dellinger, battalion commander.
The passing of the colors is a military tradition dating back to medieval times. The battalion colors represent the unit as well as the loyalty and camaraderie of its Soldiers, symbolizing the authority of the leadership and their responsibility to the organization. The colors have historically been a rallying point for the Soldiers to mark their leader on the battlefield.
Mumpower passed the colors to Dellinger, signifying his relinquishment of responsibility.
"I am proud to have had Command Sgt. Maj. Mumpower as my [senior enlisted advisor]," Dellinger said. "I relied on him every day as my primary course of courage, counsel, compassion, decisiveness, truth, and tenacity. I depended upon him to set the example and enforce the standards, and to maintain good order and discipline."
Dellinger then passed the colors to Pinkham, indicating the commander's trust and confidence in him to complete his responsibilities as the highest non-commissioned officer in the battalion.
"I am humbled and sincerely honored to be taking on the position as the command sergeant major for the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment and look forward to continuing the great relationships with our joint and bilateral Japanese partners in protecting Okinawa," said Pinkham.
The ceremony concluded with time for Soldiers and their Families to bid farewell to Mumpower and his wife Stacie, followed by a welcome reception for Pinkham.
"You are charged to enforce the standards of performance and training, while maintaining good order and discipline," said Dellinger. "Your task is to ensure the 'Snake Eyes Battalion' is not only ready to fight tonight, but you are responsible for making sure every Soldier and crew is ready to fight right now," Dellinger told the new command sergeant major as he welcomed him into the position.
"I believe the best part of becoming the command sergeant major of this organization is having the opportunity to lead, teach and mentor the future leaders of our Army," said Pinkham.