FORT BENNING, Ga. -- The 75th Ranger Regiment saw a change in senior enlisted leadership Feb. 21 when Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Albaugh relinquished responsibility of the 75th Ranger Regiment to Command Sgt. Maj. Curt D. Donaldson in a ceremony at the Maneuver Center of Excellence on Fort Benning.
"This has been an honor of a lifetime," said Albaugh, formerly the 18th Regimental Sergeant Major. "Not just the last two years but my whole career, at every stage, every job, every promotion, every moment. And I thank anyone who had anything to do with any of it from the bottom of my heart.
"You don't get to stay in this organization, hold the great leadership jobs like I have without the support of the people around you," said Albaugh. "That is the way I have felt for most of my career. Fortunate to be surrounded by so many people who pushed and pulled me along the way."
Albaugh, who will take over as the senior enlisted advisor to the commander of Special Operations Command -- Africa, shared his pride in how the 75th Ranger Regiment had changed and adapted during 19 years of continuous conflict.
"If you told me in 1999," he said, "that Rangers would one day be going out on target every night in platoon-sized elements, with a stack of enablers, closing and destroying the enemy, I never would have believed it. Nobody would have. Nineteen years of war has produced some of the greatest warriors of our time."
Col. Todd Brown, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, lauded Albaugh's tireless efforts during his tenure as the Regimental Sergeant Major.
"CSM Albaugh knows what is important and what will set up the Regiment for success 20 years down the road," said Brown. "He invested in the Rangers."
Col. Brown went on to say that he was, "blessed to inherit another incredible Ranger Buddy in CSM Curt Donaldson."
Donaldson, who most recently was the command sergeant major of the 75th Ranger Regimental Special Troops Battalion before becoming the 19th Regimental Sergeant Major, expressed his appreciation for Albaugh and the opportunity to lead Rangers at the highest level.
"CSM Albaugh, thank you for the great handover and for taking care of Rangers and their families," said Donaldson. "The programs you have started will have a lasting effect on the current and future of the Ranger Regiment. I would be up here all day if I were to thank everyone who had anything to do with me standing here. I will say that I never had any trouble finding someone who was smarter, fitter, faster, and better at their job than I was to help me along the way."
Both Albaugh and Donaldson spoke about their pride in the Ranger Regiment's culture and reputation as the U.S. military's premier special operations raid force, and reflected on what it was that made life in the 75th Ranger Regiment so special.
"Everyone in this organization is a warrior. That is what draws you here. To be a warrior with other warriors," said Albaugh. "It's the best culture in DoD."
"The Ranger family is strong," said Donaldson. "It's a great place to work. When you show up around here, the standards apply from the newest private all the way to the Regimental Commander. It's a truly special place in the Army."
To the Rangers, past and present, who sat in attendance, Albaugh left them with one final thought.
"Cherish the time you have in the Regiment," he said. "You will always look back on this time as one of the proudest and formative times in your life."
Rangers Lead the Way.