CAMP RED CLOUD, Republic of Korea--The 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-US Combined Division hosted a change of responsibility ceremony for its incoming and outgoing division command sergeants major at Hanson Field House on Camp Casey, Republic of Korea Dec. 1.
With the passing of the famed Warrior Division colors, a new era was born as the incoming 2nd Inf. Div. command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Phil Barretto, assumed responsibility as the division's top noncommissioned officer. As Barretto assumed his duties, Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Mitchell was honored for his tenure as Warrior 7 and his commitment to the Soldiers of the Army's only permanently forward-stationed division. Major General Scott McKean, 2ID/RUCD commanding general, was the officiating officer for the ceremony and formally passed on the responsibility of the division's top NCO from Mitchell to Barretto. He took the opportunity to thank Mitchell, whom he had previously served with while in battalion command, for his service to the division and upholding the highest standards for his Soldiers and their leaders.
"The division command sergeant major plays a pivotal role as the standard bearer for discipline and Soldier readiness," said McKean during the ceremony. "It requires a leader who is as tough as nails and demanding the exacting standards because that's what keeps Soldiers alive in combat, to be ready to fight tonight, and keep fighting until the wars are won. That's what we need in our division and that's exactly what we had in Command Sergeant Major Mitchell."
Mitchell spent the last two years working on maintaining the division's 'Fight Tonight' readiness and ensuring every Soldier under his responsibility was prepared to execute their mission, and holding their leaders to the highest standards.
"Everyone needs the opportunity to achieve," said Mitchell. "We as leaders need to set the conditions to make that happen. When you train to standard, this will provide [Soldiers] the opportunity to grow. The Warrior Division sets the conditions for all Soldiers to succeed."
Mitchell now departs the ROK and will head to the Training and Doctrine Command's Center of Initial Military Training, working alongside Maj. Gen. Malcom Frost at Fort Eustis, Virginia. At CIMT he will be charged with leading the synchronization and management of initial military training and education to transform civilian volunteers into Soldiers who are able to contribute upon arrival at their first unit of assignment.
"I'll never forget the friends I have made here," said Mitchell. "I will count down the days until I can return the land of the morning calm, a country I've grown to love and respect."
Barretto comes to the division after performing duties as Commandant, Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Drum, New York. Barretto has served at leadership positions at every level to include battalion and brigade-level command sergeant major positions.
"This will be and always will be about the military profession of arms," said Barretto. "Military service is about teamwork, training, disciplined teams that work together while trying to achieve the commander's desired end state. I am humbled and honored to assume my responsibility."