FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As the Army celebrated its 242nd birthday, the 1st Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior NCO into its ranks.

Command Sgt. Maj. Antoine D. Williams assumed responsibility as the brigade command sergeant major from Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal D. Sutterfield during a ceremony on Howze Field June 14.

Hopkins expressed his appreciation for Sutterfield's leadership, as well as his confidence in his successor.

"Where [Sutterfield] helped the Army the most was with what I consider our center of gravity -- our permanent party folks, our instructors, cadre and AIT platoon sergeants," said the brigade commander. "Sergeant major, I could not have asked for a better partner for the past two years. Your significant and positive impacts will be the Army's gain through the actions of the instructors and the students that you've led, trained and mentored. Thank you for all that you have done.

"In his place another capable leader joins the team in Command Sergeant Major Antoine Williams," said Hopkins. "He is well known within the brigade and across the installation, and his experience as a first sergeant and command sergeant major in the 1-145th (Aviation Regiment) will certainly be of value."

Williams returns to Fort Rucker with a wealth of experience, having served here previously as the Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Avn. Bde., battalion operations NCOIC, as well as the 1-145th Avn. Regt. squadron command sergeant major. His most recent assignment was at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, where he served as the brigade operations sergeant major for the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.

He has served all over the country and world, and been deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

"It is with great humility, excitement and optimism that I return to the home of Army Aviation to serve the Soldiers of such a storied brigade," said the incoming command sergeant major during the ceremony. "To the Soldiers, both here and geographically displaced … I pledge to give 100-percent effort in ensuring your success and the success of the brigade -- I work for you."

That commitment to the brigade's Soldiers and families is the legacy that Sutterfield leaves behind, a legacy that the outgoing command sergeant major said he believes Williams will continue.

"I couldn't be more proud and pleased to have someone of your caliber taking over the reins from [Colonel Hopkins and me]," he said. "It's a testament to the Army selection process that they bring you here to carry on the torch for what we're doing every day."

"Welcome back to the Golden Hawk family," added Hopkins. "Sergeant Major [Williams], I have the utmost confidence that you are the right leader to continue the significant history of the brigade and we are grateful that you are here to take on this incredible opportunity."