GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria welcomed its new senior enlisted leader, during a change of responsibility ceremony on June 19. Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal D. Sutterfield, outgoing command sergeant major of USAG Bavaria, relinquished his responsibilities of the garrison to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael J. Spear.
Precautionary measures against COVID-19, such as wearing face masks and maintaining safe physical distances from other attendees, were observed at the ceremony. Additionally, the physical passing of the colors was instead replaced with a salute.
The change of responsibility was attended by a few host nation officials, including Edgar Knobloch, mayor of Grafenwoehr, Hans-Martin Schertl, mayor of Vilseck, Reinhold Wildenauer, third mayor of Weiden, Lt. Col. Florian Rommel, commander of the Office of the German Military Representative (DMV) and Werner Stopfer, chief of Eschenbach Police. To reduce the amount of people physically attending the event, community members were encouraged to watch the live-stream from home.
“The highest compliment I could possibly think of giving you [Sutterfield] as a leader – you care,” praised USAG Bavaria Commander Col. Adam Boyd during his speech. “You care about soldiers, you care about families, and you care about communities. You should be proud of your time here. You made a difference.”
Sutterfield thanked USAG Bavaria’s distinguished guests, tenant units, partner agencies, personnel office, family, friends and entire military community for the “immense support” he received over the past 33 months.
“Thank you, Bavaria. It’s been an honor to serve you,” said Sutterfield. “Dankeschön. Servus. Auf Wiedersehen. This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later.”
After 28 years of service, Sutterfield will be retiring to Alabama.
Spear, the incoming command sergeant major, previously served as the brigade command sergeant major at 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Spear first enlisted in the Army on July 27, 1999. His overseas deployments include one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan.
As command sergeant major for USAG Bavaria, Spear serves as the command’s senior enlisted advisor on matters relating to operations, training, morale and welfare of the garrison’s more than 22,500 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors located at four installations across Bavaria.
“My family and I are honored to serve, extremely grateful and overly humbled to be a part of this extraordinary team,” Spear said in closing remarks. “We look forward to the bonds and friendships we will build moving forward. Army strong; strong Europe.”