By Story by Sgt. 1st Class Katrina Craig, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)May 10, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Barker became the 33rd command sergeant major of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during an assumption of responsibility ceremony outside McAuliffe Hall, the division headquarters, May 10.
Soldiers of the division, along with families and members of the Fort Campbell community, gathered to welcome Barker, who comes to the division from 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, at Fort Bliss, Texas.
"I was not sure I would be able to arrive, in-process, sign for my house, start Air Assault School, and receive my household goods all within 24 hours, but with the momentous effort of the incredible team here we pulled it off," said Barker.
This was Barker's second ceremony of the day, as he had just graduated Air Assault School that morning. He said he insisted on going through the rigorous 10-day training before starting his new position, just as he would expect of his "Screaming Eagle" Soldiers.
Maj. Gen. Brian Winski, commanding general, 101st Abn. Div., said he picked Barker to be his senior enlisted advisor because his career uniquely prepared him for the position. In his remarks, Winski said Barker had belonged to several unique "tribes" from within the Army, speaking of characteristics and cultures unique to units like Army Rangers, Airborne and mechanized infantry units, and the Army Reserve.
"Senior leaders from every tribe praised Barker's exceptional leadership," said Winski. "His ability to build teams, his combat experience, his innate understanding of mastering the fundamentals, and his emphasis on discipline and standards are all areas where he will make his mark in leading this division and preparing our Soldiers for combat."
The assumption of responsibility ceremony took place on the 50th anniversary of the frontal assault on Hill 937, Dong Ap Bia, Vietnam. The ten-day engagement, more commonly referred to as the Battle of Hamburger Hill, was fought by U.S. Army Soldiers, including those from the 101st. U.S. Marines and the South Vietnamese military.
"I am humbled and honored to join the ranks of a division with such a tenacious reputation for fighting when it's told and winning where it fights," said Barker.
During his 22-year career, Barker has held positions as a Soldier and leader to include all rifleman positions to Operations Sergeant Major and multiple Command Sergeant Major positions.
"If I could have any job I want in the Army, I would have wished for this one. I'm truly honored to be selected," said Barker.
Barker replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims, who departed the division following a relinquishment of responsibility ceremony, Mar. 20. Since then, Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Osborne, senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Campbell served dual positions as both the garrison and division senior enlisted advisor.
Winski thanked Osborne for "stepping into the breech" and serving both functions.