By Ms. Jessica Marie Ryan (IMCOM Europe)February 15, 2019
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Command Sgt. Maj. Samara Lyn Pitre relinquished responsibility of U.S. Army Garrison Benelux Feb. 14 at the Community Activity Center on Chièvres Air Base, Belgium. Pitre is selected to become the command sergeant major for U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Europe.
Pitre assumed responsibility of USAG Benelux on Oct. 24, 2017. As the senior enlisted advisor to the garrison commander, she oversaw operations for a geographically-dispersed garrison with locations and Army Pre-positioned Stocks sites in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.
During the ceremony, Col. Sean Hunt Kuester, garrison commander, remarked on Pitre's ability to bring people together through her enthusiasm and commitment to the U.S. Army's mission and Benelux community.
"Command Sergeant Major Pitre has an undying fire of positivity, optimism and confidence. As team members, we all want a leader who can inspire us with positive energy," he said. "In my 23 years of service, I have not met a man or woman who is as eternally cheerful as her."
Kuester commented that Pitre made significant improvements and contributions to the community through garrison programs such as Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers as well as IMCOM-Europe's European Infrastructure Consolidation, or EIC, resulting in the garrison's transformation in Chièvres, Schinnen and Brussels.
Pitre was also known as being a "connector to people," because she engaged with community members and showed her support for events such as the Best Warrior Competition, Resiliency Olympics and heritage observances. She notably served as the guest speaker for the garrison's National Hispanic Heritage Month events last October.
"You [CSM Pitre] left your community better than you found it. You have done your duty," Kuester concluded.
Pitre reflected on her time at the Benelux. During her speech, she said that she knew the true meaning of bittersweet as she bid farewell to the community.
"When I came here, my goal was to be the garrison command sergeant major that was here for all Army professionals, both military members and civilians. My goal was to be the garrison command sergeant major for all service members, regardless of their uniform," she said.
"To me, it's not about if you are wearing the military uniform or civilian clothes every day. It's not about being a Department of the Army civilian or host nation civilian. It's not about if you are officially employed by the garrison or by a mission partner organization. It's the fact that you are member of this team. We truly are one team, one Benelux. I am proud to be member of this team."
Pitre and her husband Dewey will relocate to Sembach, Germany. She will replace Command Sgt. Maj. Ulysses Rayford, who has been named the sergeant major for Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.