FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The U.S. Army Forces Command bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston as Command Sgt. Maj. Curt Cornelison stepped in as the command's senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony at the FORSCOM headquarters, July 31.

Cornelison said that he is looking forward to once again being a FORSCOM Soldier and excited about the challenges ahead of him.

"It's truly an honor to stand before you as Freedom 7, the senior noncommissioned officer of an organization with such a huge influence and great responsibility to our Army and our nation," said Cornelison. "It is an awesome privilege that I do not take for granted or take lightly."

Gen. Michael X. Garrett, who worked with Cornelison not only at their previous duty assignments at U.S. Army Central, also remembers serving with him in "the olden days" at the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, when he was a company commander and Cornelison was a specialist serving in the same battalion. He said that Cornelison is the right Soldier for the job.

"For the past 29 years, as his impressive service biography attests, Command Sergeant Major Cornelison demonstrated experience, courage and expertise to make him the best leader to serve as the FORSCOM command sergeant major," said Garrett. "He is a proven combat leader of immense talent who has served and led Soldiers in challenging assignments. I know our Soldiers are in good hands."

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston is leaving FORSCOM to become the 16th Sergeant Major of the Army. He praised both Garrett and former FORSCOM commanding general, Gen. Robert B. Abrams, for their leadership, knowledge and commitment to the Soldiers serving in Forces Command. Grinston reminded everyone of the two 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers killed in Afghanistan just a few days before the ceremony and said that every day, FORSCOM Soldiers are putting their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

"Every day, we sit here and we exist in this country because of the brave Soldiers across Forces Command," said Grinston. "I will continue to thank them every day and every night, no matter what I do … I want to publically thank them for all they have done to help us as a nation and as Forces Command."

Before the ceremony, Garrett awarded Grinston the Distinguished Service Medal and commended the example he sets for all Soldiers.

"Over his tenure as the FORSCOM command sergeant major, Tony Grinston has demonstrated every day what it means to be the backbone and the muscle of our Army," said Garrett. "There is no stronger advocate for readiness in units than a Soldier's Soldier."