New Top NCO Takes Position at 94th AAMDC

By David ChapmanAugust 6, 2020

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During a small ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Neil H. Sartain was welcomed to the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, when he assumed responsibility of the unit, Aug. 4, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Due to current COVID 19, social distancing policies were in place the ceremony was exclusive, hosting only the most senior staff members from the Sea Dragon Ohana. But many tuned in via social media sources to watch the special ceremony, including family from the mainland.

“I have to give a shout out to my mom and family living in Tennessee “, said Sartain. “If I didn’t, they would probably disown me.”

As presiding officer for the event, Brig. Gen. Mark A. Holler, commanding general for the 94th AAMDC, had the honor of passing the unit colors to Sartain as a symbolic statement that the incoming command sergeant major was now charged with protecting the colors and the soldiers who fall under them, a long standing tradition throughout the Army.

Holler took the opportunity to speak before the small crowd and all those tuned in online about what is required to be command sergeant major of the 94th AAMDC.

“It’s important that the Army gets it right when selecting a command sergeant major, especially for this command. Our mission is an essential component of U.S. national security and defense strategy for the Indo-Pacific region,” said Holler. “The command requires a special kind of leader at the top to effectively lead this challenging mission set. A leader who is agile and adaptive. A leader who is action oriented.”

The commander then explained why Sartain was the man to fill the challenging slot at the top.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Sartain was selected because he is a combat proven leader. He was selected because he is a mission first, soldiers always kind of leader. He was selected because he was a never leave a soldier or family member behind, kind of leader,” he said.

Sartain is familiar with the 94th AAMDC, as he has worn the Sea Dragon patch before in an earlier assignment and was previously the command sergeant major for the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Sagami Depot, Japan, which is subordinate to the 94th AAMDC.

Sartain then shared what it meant to him to be placed in such a role.

“Without a doubt I am both humbled and honored to be given this opportunity and even more fortunate to be assigned to such a great organization, stocked full of phenomenal warriors,” said Sartain. “Brig. Gen. Holler I truly thank you for trusting me with your colors. This is assignment I don’t take lightly and I am committed 101 percent to the readiness and success of every single Sea Dragon Soldier.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Sartain also shared his understanding of the lineage that he is following and those who have been in the role he was about to undertake.

“I knowingly stand here today fully aware of the legends from the within the air defense artillery branch who have served as ‘Sea Dragon Seven”, commented Sartain. “So I know I have huge shoes to fill. But I am ready for the tasks ahead.”

As the most senior noncommissioned officer in the 94th AAMDC, Sartain is responsible for advising the commanding general on issues within the unit and sets the example for all enlisted members.