RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina National Guard Soldiers with 60th Troop Command (60th TC) gathered in the auditorium at Joint Force Headquarters, here, to welcome their newest senior enlisted leader (SEL) and to say farewell to the outgoing SEL during a change of responsibility ceremony, Dec. 2, 2017.

Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Whitaker, the out-going SEL, relinquished responsibility of 60th TC after approximately 30 months of support to the "Skill and Courage" Brigade.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with the Soldiers of 60th TC," Whitaker said. "I can not believe I made it this far through the ranks, but I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve my country and the Soldiers around me."

The newest senior enlisted leader of 60th TC, Command Sgt. Maj. Diana Staton, who has 29 years of service, was previously the 113th Special Troops Battalion Command Sergeant Major.

"I'm extremely proud to be part of this great organization," Staton said. "I look forward to serving you, along side our commander, and enhancing the proficiency of the 60th TC."

During the ceremony, the passing of the noncommissioned officer sword took place, with the sword being passed from the 60th TC's first sergeant, to Whitaker, then to the unit's commander, Col. Jeffery Bain, then to Staton. The passing of the sword signifies the passing of leadership. The War Department adopted the noncommissioned officer (NCO) sword in 1840 and although it is no longer part of the Army's inventory, NCOs wore it for over 70 years during the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

The end of Whitaker's time at the Skill and Courage Brigade also marks the end of his long military career, after enlisting in 1988; he will be retiring this year.

60th TC is a unique brigade that supports a wide-range of units including Special Forces, Field Artillery, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Civil Support, Recruiting and Retention, Army Band, Public Affairs, Military History, Medical and Parachute Riggers.