SOUTHPORT, N.C. -- Soldiers and civilians welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Alicia D. Dunn as the newest member of the 596th Transportation Brigade family in a formal ceremony Jan. 12, at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, N.C.
Before a crowd of roughly 60 people Friday, brigade commander, Col. Marc Mueller, addressed the unit's Soldiers and civilian workforce to thank outgoing command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie M. Brown, for his dedication during his tenure at MOTSU and welcomed incoming command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Alicia Dunn.
"Over the past 27 months, more than 100 ships have been loaded with roughly 40 thousand containers of ammunition and countless pieces of cargo in support of unit deployments and sustainment shipments," Mueller told the audience. "Command Sgt. Maj. Brown has guided the brigade and its battalions through one of the largest reorganizations and realignments in the 596th's history as our area of responsibility shifted from Southern Command, westward towards the Pacific."
"It is obvious how deeply you care for others and you have certainly made a difference in the lives of our Soldier's and civilian employee's lives," Mueller said of Brown. "I cannot thank you enough and I will always be in your debt."
In his final official act as 596th Transportation Brigade's top enlisted Soldier at MOTSU, Command Sgt. Maj. Brown addressed the audience concerning his time at MOTSU and the workforce he oversaw.
"I have truly been blessed to have the high quality Sergeants and Soldiers that I've had over the past two years," Brown said. "You are the reasons why I have been successful and you have consistently proven why the United States Army and its Soldiers are a force to be reckoned with."
"I came here 27 months ago stepping into a very alien world. I left my battalion of over 700 Soldiers and I was now taking responsibility for a brigade with 26 Soldiers and over 350 civilian employees. Nothing in my military career up to this point had prepared me for working with a predominantly civilian workforce," said Brown. "In time, I came to find out how easy it actually was to serve in this brigade. It became easy because I learned that I had the hardest working, most dedicated and loyal salt of the earth people one could ever hope to serve with. Nobody does what you do here. You take a tough mission, a vital mission, and you make it look easy. For that, I thank you."
After the unit's colors were formally transferred from Brown to Dunn, signifying the official transfer of responsibility as command sergeant major, Dunn took her turn behind the podium and addressed the crowd.
"When I joined the Army at 18 years of age, I never expected that I'd still be serving 25 years later," said Dunn. "I certainly didn't expect that I one day would become a brigade command sergeant major. So it is with a humble heart that I want the Soldiers and civilians of the 596th Transportation Brigade, and everyone here at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, to know and understand that it is an absolute privilege to become a part of your team."
Dunn, an Ohio native, has a long track record in Army transportation. She began her career in 1992 as a Motor Transport Operator and has held numerous foreign post and combat assignments to Germany, Kuwait, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Dunn has also been assigned to Army special forces units and earned the Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign medal, U.S. and Irish Parachutists Badges and the Honorable Order of Saint Christopher, a special recognition for individuals who have made significant contributions to the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. The award is named for St. Christopher, the patron saint of the Army Transportation Corps Regiment.
Before ending her formal remarks and giving her first orders to the brigade, Dunn took a moment to directly address Command Sgt. Maj. Brown before he hangs up his uniform one final time to retire from the military and begin life anew as a proud civilian.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Brown, during the past couple of weeks I have observed how the Soldiers and civilians of this great command hold you in high regard. I know you will be missed," Dunn said. "You have left an honorable legacy with the 596th Transportation Brigade, one that I will strive to continue. I wish you and your family well and God Speed in your future endeavors wherever they may take you."