By Mr. Michael Maddox (ROTC)October 25, 2018
FORT KNOX, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2018) -- U.S. Army Cadet Command hosted a change of responsibility for its senior enlisted leader as Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Kraus, Jr., passed the position as the highest noncommissioned officer in the command to Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Terenas during a ceremony at Waybur Theater here Oct. 25.
Terenas comes to Fort Knox from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command. Kraus is retiring from the Army after 31 years of service.
Maj. Gen. John Evans, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, presided over the ceremony that transferred responsibility from Kraus to Terenas. After the ceremonial transfer of the Cadet Command colors, he addressed the audience.
Evans stressed the importance of the role of the command sergeant major and how Kraus has filled that role.
"The command of an organization cannot be left to one man alone. It requires the skills of two leaders that can offset each other's strengths and weaknesses - one tends to stay focused above and beyond the strategic level, and the other advises the commander as to what is going on at the unit level -- what's going on with the Soldiers, the civilians, and the families that make up our Army organizations," he explained. "I can think of no better person who has done this than Ken Kraus."
"You hope as a commander that when you come to an organization, your NCO, is a man or woman that you can lean on and rely on and they know their lane well. When I got to Cadet Command, Ken was all of that," Evans said. "He coached me, was patient with me, and became not just my command sergeant major, but a great friend."
"He will leave a gap that will not be filled, but we have a command sergeant major that will come in behind him that will carry forward with new energy and new vitality," he added.
Evans said he looks forward to working with Terenas.
"I can tell you that as I looked across the broad expanse of options for command sergeant major, it was the toughest talent management decision I have ever made," he said. "I am excited about what Mario is going to bring to Cadet Command and the Fort Knox community. I can tell you while he will not replace Ken Kraus, he's going to fill another spot right beside him that will be all his own."
After Evans' finished his remarks, Kraus spoke to the audience.
"I can honestly say that where the Army is going to go in how it assesses and develops leaders in the near future, Mario has the talents, the skills, attributes, knowledge and experience to take this command to the next level," said Kraus.
Kraus went on to remind the crowd of the everyday things that are part of Army life are also things he will miss.
"I'm going to miss hearing the cadence of Soldiers, the endless bugle calls, the cannon fire I hear in my front yard every day," he said. "I'll miss the comradery I've shared with all of you."
Afterwards, Terenas said he looks forward to helping mold the future of the command.
"I'm excited and humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of this great community and serve at Fort Knox and Cadet Command," he said. "Everything I have in life was given to me by the Army -- the way I met my wife, my education, and even the opportunity to be here today -- so I'm excited for the chance to give back and be a part of an organization that leads and trains lethal and agile officers for the United States Army, and also builds citizens of character and leaders through the JROTC program. This is a great opportunity and I am just humbled to be part of it."
Before arriving at Fort Knox, Terenas' prior assignments included service at Camp Jackson, Korea; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Drum, New York; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Terenas has deployed to Iraq in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom twice and once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.