KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- The U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz community welcomed its new top enlisted leader during an assumption of responsibility ceremony, June 6, at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.

Command Sgt. Maj. D. "Brett" Waterhouse brings 27 years of training and experience to the garrison's highest noncommissioned officer position that provides support and oversight of 29 sites with more than 50,000 Soldiers, government civilian employees and their families. He is also responsible for enabling readiness capabilities and ensuring first-class processing, equipping and training of thousands of rotational forces from the U.S. and allied nations as they answer the call to forward deploy eastward in a show of strength, partnership and deterrence.

"As the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Command Sergeant Major, Brett Waterhouse's mission is as complex as it is important, providing support for 29 individual sites across our widespread footprint of almost 100 miles to some of the United States' most important military organizations and finest warfighters," said USAG RP Commander Col. Keith E. Igyarto. "We'll need strong enlisted leadership for our Soldiers to navigate upcoming changes, and I'm confident we will have that in Command Sergeant Major Waterhouse."

The command sergeant major came to the garrison from the United States Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa., where he served as a senior noncommissioned officer researcher at the Army's preeminent museum and research complex, devoted to educating and preserving the legacy of Soldiers. From his recent experience, he spoke to the historical significance of his ceremony date.

"Today marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord -- the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, most commonly known as D-Day. D-Day was an epic multinational amphibious and airborne operation that forged partnerships and reinforced transatlantic bonds that remain strong to this day," said Waterhouse, who counts himself among today's U.S. Soldiers, who remain indebted to these WWII veterans. "And what better way to illustrate those strong bonds than with an airborne jump. A few days ago, more than 500 United States, French, Dutch, Romanian and German paratroopers jumped from nine [multinational] aircraft in France to pay tribute to D-Day veterans who demonstrated selfless service and sacrifice characteristic of the greatest generation."

Alongside the garrison commander, Waterhouse will be at the forefront of directing and leveraging U.S. Army Europe's rapid response capabilities in overseeing the garrison's unparalleled logistical support for downrange operations and crisis response as it demonstrates the Army's abilities to deploy, mass and sustain combat power across the theater.

"Today marks my first day as your command sergeant major. It's great to be back in Germany. Christina and I look forward to meeting and working alongside all of our German brothers and sisters and all the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Army professionals of the Kaiserslautern Military Community," said Waterhouse, who was previously stationed at USAG Schweinfurt, Germany. "Colonel Igyarto, sir, although I will only be your sergeant major and wingman for about a month, I'm looking forward to making the most out of our short time together (Colonel Igyarto's change of command is July 11, 2018). Support and Defend! Army Strong! This We'll Defend!"

The new garrison command sergeant major enlisted in 1990 as an M1A1 Tank Loader, and draws upon experience from a variety of duty and leadership positions to include Military Science instructor at the U.S. Military Academy and command sergeant major of various squadrons. Waterhouse deployed in support of several operations to include Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

His military education includes the Sergeants Major Course (2011); Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course (Draper Army Leadership Award Winner -- 1999); Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (Iron Man Award Winner -- 1995); and the Primary Leadership Development Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate -- 1992). He holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from St. Thomas Aquinas College, New York (2005).