By Gini Sinclair, USAREC PAOApril 6, 2018
Twenty-four months after assuming responsibility of Medical Recruiting Brigade, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Schwab relinquished his position as command sergeant major of the unit.
Schwab turned over responsibilities of the brigade in a Mar. 16 formal ceremony at Waybur Theatre on Fort Knox to Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Castellano Jr. Brigade commander Col. Heather Kness officiated the ceremony.
Kness told those in attendance that it was difficult to write her speech, and even harder to deliver. Kness and Schwab had travelled together extensively over the last two years because the unit is spread throughout the United States and Germany. Kness reminisced about some of the sights they saw together, including Mount St. Helens on a clear day, and a moose and her calf in Alaska.
"[Schwab] taught me about recruiting and leadership," Kness noted. "He fought for the resources recruiters need.
"I admire you as a friend and a recruiter," Kness said.
In welcoming Castellano, Kness added she could not be luckier than to welcome Castellano to the brigade. Noting that Castellano is moving here from 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion, Kness said the Army got it right by bringing him to the brigade.
Schwab said the last two years have definitely been a privilege.
"MRB was pretty much my first choice," Schwab said. "I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone. I had 18 years as an NPS [non-prior service] recruiter. This has been amazing. There are a lot of great people on the staff."
"One of the things I looked at when I came to brigade is [health care] recruiting, but recruiting is recruiting is recruiting, no matter what you are recruiting for," Schwab said.
He thanked the people who helped him during his time at the brigade and noted that he didn't have time to mention everyone who helped him succeed.
He also said the decision to retire was difficult, but felt it was time to put his wife, Amanda, and their sons first as they move on to civilian life.
Schwab encouraged his successor by telling Castellano he will love working with Kness in support of the brigade.
Castellano moved to the brigade from 5th Medical Recruiting Battalion in San Antonio, Texas, where he served as the battalion command sergeant major for the last two years.
Castellano thanked those who attended and said he is looking forward to serving as the brigade command sergeant major. He ended his brief speech with a quote from John C. Maxwell: "Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others."