FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Soldiers and Army Civilians of the 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade (Cyber) bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Potter, the departing senior enlisted leader for the 781st MI Battalion (Cyber), and his Family during a Relinquishment of Responsibility ceremony at the post theater on July 1.
Although he only served as the battalion command sergeant major for 15 months, Potter leaves behind an enduring legacy as he and his Family move to Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he will assume even greater responsibility as the senior enlisted leader for the U.S. Army Cyber Command's Cyber Protection Brigade on August 15.
The 781st MI Battalion is also known as the "Vanguard," their motto "When Others Cannot". Potter is often referred to as Vanguard 7, his military call-sign.
In her remarks, Lt. Col. Nadine Nally, commander of the 781st MI Battalion and the host for the ceremony, talked about Vanguard 7's character, legacy, and his fondness for Spartan obstacle races.
"Mission Command, Empowerment, Communication, Opportunity and Teaming -- Command Sergeant Major not only evangelized it, he lived it. Throughout his tenure as Vanguard 7, he has protected this house and defined what it means to embody the Vanguard ethos," said Nally. "At any given moment, he would stop to help the Vanguard Soldiers and Civilians."
Nally said it was Potter who enabled the battalion to present a trained and ready unit for the Cyber National Mission Force.
"His steadfast aim of building a cyber force of the future, while also meeting current mission demands of this battalion with a scope, scale and complexity of operations rarely seen, even at brigade-levels, achieved superior results," said Nally.
In addition to his providing candid feedback to the command team, empowering the non-commissioned officer (NCO) Corps, and advising the officers and Civilians, Nally talked about Potter's significant accomplishments during his tenure: attaining a 95 percent Soldier deployable rate, exceeding U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command and Army requirements; building a Spartan Agoge-based leader development program; partnering with the 10th Mountain Division NCO Academy and Light Fighter School, resulting in 18 brigade Soldiers graduating from the Air Assault course and four Soldiers becoming rappel masters; 90 specialists graduating from the Basic Leader Course; and two Ranger course graduates.
Potter, in his remarks, described his most memorable moment as building a 'teaming' culture.
"When I came to the battalion, we had just completed the build and declared all of our teams FOC (fully operational capability). The culture of the organization was split between the Cyber Soldiers and Military Intelligence Soldiers," said Potter. "Over the last 15 months of truly embracing and enabling one of Lt. Col. Nally's leadership tenants of 'teaming,' we now have a culture that embraces the team of teams approach. This has paid huge dividends operationally across the entire formation."
Vanguard 7's departing advice for the Soldiers and Civilians will resonate with all those who have served with him.
"I would be remiss if I didn't remind (the Soldiers and Civilians) to get their grill fixed, get off the computer, and go outside and do some type of physical challenge," said Potter. "To continue to seek balance both in your life and career, seek constant improvement, and 'be the Lion, not the sheep; be the leader, not an insignificant member of the herd.'"
Potter ended his remarks with these parting words: "Look at the Soldier to your right and left; you will draw strength from them, as they will draw strength from you. You will not let them fail! Because we are the VANGUARD!"
"Vanguard 7, 'Yando,' signing off the net."