By Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs(FORT HOOD, Texas, March 11, 2019)-Hundreds of people gathered at the West Fort Hood Always Ready Field for the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade change of responsibility.
Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Baird, who has been the senior enlisted adviser for the brigade for the last 18 months, changed hands with Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Mabanag. Mabanag is joining the 504th MI BDE from the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Baird accompanied the 504th during their previous deployment to Afghanistan.
"I will tell you what I saw when I arrived and started circulating the battlefield," said Col. Deitra Trotter, 504th MI BDE commander. "First line leaders were doing their jobs at 14 different locations where we had ground collection teams, backed up by their company and battalion. I also learned that our CSM had visited each of those teams multiple times, gone on missions with them, integrated with their supported units, or already had established relationships with them; as in his towering reputation proceeded him."
"His steadfast mentorship, confidence, and empowerment of roughly 1600 subordinates directly contributed to TF (Task Force) Ready's success down range," said Trotter. "He led a year of excitement, innovative discovery and new collection techniques that made a positive difference still resonating across our Joint Force."
"He is destined for greater things," said Trotter. "I'm not sure if it's that big open, friendly smile; that he leads by example daily from PT to ranges to motor pool Mondays; or looks for creative ways to include other units in rebuilding our Army and MI traditions within our units, but it generates a level of approachability with our Soldiers, his peers, and our leaders that created real opportunities for dialogue on critical issues affecting our Soldiers and their Families."
Mabanag addressed the crowd, more specifically, CSM Baird," T.J., this unit lost a great leader and I definitely will have some tall...I mean huge shoes to fill" he said. "You set the bar high."
"I am honored to continue the 504th Brigade's success and proud history," said Mabanag. "Ready Soldiers, you look great! Ready 7 signing in."