FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii-Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Foley, relinquished responsibility as the command sergeant major for the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command to Command Sgt. Maj. Eric R. McCray, during a change of responsibility ceremony held Jun. 26, 2018 at the historic Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
The change of responsibility ceremony is a traditional event enriched with symbolism and heritage. The key of the ceremony was the passing of the 94th AAMDC colors, which not only represents the unit's lineage and honors, but also the loyalty and unity of the command's Soldiers.
The custodian of the command's colors is the 94th AAMDC command sergeant major, who is the most senior enlisted in the command and serves as the principal enlisted advisor to the commander.
The change of responsibility ceremony serves the dual function of honoring the departing command sergeant major and officially recognizing the incoming command sergeant major as the senior non-commissioned officer for the command.
During the ceremony Foley passed the colors to Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, the 94th AAMDC commanding general, who then passed the colors to McCray symbolizing the transfer of command responsibility from one sergeant major to the other.
"It's been a great ride, you have done so much for this command an integral for every initiative this command have executed," said Gainey while delivering his remarks during the ceremony. "Your ability to mentor the Soldiers and the noncommissioned officer is truly impressive. You led by example and from the front all the time."
"It was your strategic vision that set you apart from your peers and ensured we shape the theater missile defense posture across the theater." "We accomplished a lot on your watch and you had a hand on everything we did," Gainey continued.
At the podium, Foley thanked the 94th AAMDC Staff and it's Soldiers during the ceremony.
"You make this command work," said Foley during the ceremony. "You adapt the same leadership styles, the presence, the influence and the morale as the commanding general. Wherever he goes, you go. He moves fast, he makes quick decisions and the staff stays ahead. I really appreciate that, It's a pleasure to serve with you every day," said Foley during his remarks.
Gainey also welcomed Command Sergeant Major McCray to the command.
"Command Sergeant Major McCray is ready to assume the best job in the Army, and that's leading our great Soldiers here in the Pacific," said Gainey. He is no stranger to the Pacific, as he personally impressed me with his phenomenal performance as the 35th ADA Dragon Brigade command sergeant major."
"He was the brigade CSM in Korea during the most demanding period of heightened tensions and heightened alert state. I'm so proud of you to command this organization," said Gainey.
As McCray, officially accepted his new leadership role, he took a moment to thank the commanding general and his predecessor.
"General Gainey, thank you for selecting me to be your battle buddy although short, it is no lost on me the impact that you and [Command] Sergeant Major Foley have had over this command and as I was the sitting brigade sergeant major for the 35th [ADA] truly herculean work, so I apreciate both of you for that."
"I really thank you for your mentorship and your guidance. Since serving with John years ago, he continues to have a tremendous impact on my career, my life personnally and it is not lost on and I really apreciate that."
"It seems like it was just yesterday, but it really was longer than that, beacause I was a sergeant when I had the opportunity to wear this patch as 5-7 [ADA] was returning from a deployment in Rihad and we ran into a new command and here it was the 94th [AAMDC]. It was some time ago and I hope I have grown and be better for them, said McCray.
"Before there can be any great victory in the battle field you must start with men-women that are driven warriors," said McCray while finishing his remarks at the podium.
"Warriors that have a divine purpose of conviction, commitment, principal and character. That has been indicative of this command and I look forward to serving and keeping those standards the same. Sea Dragon 7 signing in!"
Command Sgt. Maj. Foley and his family are headed to Fort Sill, Okla. Foley will serve as the command sergeant major of the Fires Center of Excellence making history as the first Air Defense Artillery command sergeant major selected for that position at Fort Sill.