U.S. Army South bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. William Rinehart and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Trevor Walker during a change of responsibility ceremony June 23 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
“It’s a great day for the history of Army South as we transition responsibility from one great senior NCO leader, Command Sgt. Maj. William Rinehart and team Rinehart, and pass that responsibility to the incoming team with the Walkers; Command Sgt. Maj. Trevor Walker and his wife Stacy,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Walrath, U.S. Army South Commander, as he presided over the ceremony. “It is hard, if not impossible, in just a few minutes of words to adequately celebrate the totality of the service Command Sgt. Maj. Will Rinehart and his wife, Amy, have rendered to Army South over the last few years.”
Walrath highlighted the advantages of working with a professional and capable Non-Commissioned Officer Corps and how they are the “Backbone of the Army.” He said Rinehart exemplifies the key elements of the NCO Corps and the NCO Creed.
“No one has been more professional than Sgt. Maj. Rinehart- he has been a leader of Soldiers, providing guidance and mentorship to senior NCOs across the Army South enterprise,” said Walrath. “Competence has been his watchword-he has demonstrated technical and tactical proficiency every step of the way.”
Noting that Rinehart is one of the leading cyber NCO experts in the U.S. Army, Walrath described how he guided the headquarters to better integrate U.S. Army cyber capabilities and knowledge into all cooperation activities with their partners.
Another area where Rinehart excelled was in strengthening relations between U.S. and partner nation army NCO Corps according to Walrath.
“I have observed many attempts at NCO development programs with our partner nation armies,” said Walrath. “None has been more effective than Sgt. Maj. Rinehart’s.”
Rinehart thanked the U.S. Army South team for their support throughout his tenure.
“U.S. Army South-what an exciting journey,” said Rinehart. “This is everything from steak and malbec wine in Argentina, air assaulting in the fields of Colombia, riding in leopard tanks in the northern deserts of Chile, exploring the wonders of Brazil, the excitement of Peru, the renewed partnership with Ecuador, the beauty of Guatemala, ceviche in Belize, the isle beauty of the Caribbean, it’s just absolutely an exciting journey that I would not have ever expected to take in my career let alone my life.”
He said the bonds both within the Army South team and with partners throughout the hemisphere are what he will remember most.
“The command and all of the Soldiers, civilians, and their families have become our families. The partners, relationships, and friendships that I have made in Latin America-I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for everything that you do for your armies and everything that you do for our Army.”
Walker, who previously served as the command sergeant major for Security Force Assistance Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., said he and his wife are excited to join the Army South team and look forward to meeting the challenges of the command’s mission.
“U.S. Army South has a great responsibility to strengthen regional security in their area of responsibility and counter threats in support of network defense of the homeland and also has the possibility of training Soldiers and leaders,” said Walker. “As a leader with a plan, I’ll ensure that we accomplish our mission- the Army mission and not hinder it. U.S. Army South has a history of great leadership and I’ll continue history as the command sergeant major.”
The unit kept with the military traditions while also maintaining the COVID-19 guidelines of social distancing and the use of face masks. Only a small group of family members and guests were allowed to attend, while many members of the unit, family, and friends watched the ceremony via livestream.