By Mr. Robert Timmons (IMCOM)June 21, 2018
The Lightning Brigade said farewell to its senior enlisted leader as Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Harris relinquished authority for the unit during a ceremony at the Joe E. Mann Center on post June 13.
"Congratulations on a job extremely well done," said Col. Patrick Aspland, 165th Infantry Brigade commander during the ceremony. "I will miss the morning PT sessions, rolling around the training area together, our frequent discussions of just about everything; and tell war stories over good food."
"The brigade is lucky to have you as its command sergeant major," he added, "and so was I."
Harris, who Aspland described as the prototypical leader with "is always there with a smile and a handshake or an encouraging slap on the back," is leaving Fort Jackson to be part of the leadership team for the 3rd Security Forces Assistance Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas.
While Aspland wished Harris would stay he said he is confident the senior non-commissioned officer will "make and enormous impact" on his next unit and the Army.
Harris enlisted in 1996 as an infantryman and deployed numerous times to Kosovo, Operations Enduring Freedom in Cuba and Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For a career infantry Soldier like Harris having a strong command team greatly affected his career.
Aspland, "you are insightful and have truly had a lasting impact on me and the Lightning Brigade," Harris said. "I could not have had a better commander and command team relationship."
Harris said he was wowed by the unit he was leaving -- especially the drill sergeants and cadre.
"Wow," he said. 'I am always in awe of what we have been able to accomplish here together and the commitment you and Families give every day to increase Army end-strength. I know it has been a roller coaster ride of change to create the new Basic (Combat) Training program of instruction, but know it is on your shoulders as we are able to be successful and change an Army culture."
He added he "tried to give you all the tools I have, so continue to excel and attack every problem with vigor and tenacity."