Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Escobedo is the first Human Resources Specialist non-commissioned officer to serve as the Combined Arms Support Command’s senior enlisted leader.
Escobedo was officially welcomed into the command’s leadership fold at an Aug. 19 assumption of responsibility ceremony in the Lee Club. Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, presided over the event that was livestreamed on the organization’s Facebook page.
In-person attendees at the COVID-19-restricted event included Escobedo’s wife Lydia Vega and one of his two sons; John Hall, deputy to the commanding general; Brig. Gen. Michelle M.T. Letcher, Chief of Ordnance, and; Col. Michelle K. Donahue, Quartermaster General.
Escobedo replaced CSM Michael J. Perry III, who departed Fort Lee in mid-July and is now serving as the top enlisted leader for the 1st Theater Support Command at Fort Knox, Ky.
Escobedo is a native of Mexico. He entered the Army in 1994 as a personnel records specialist (Military Occupational Specialty 75D). Escobedo comes to the Sustainment Center of Excellence from Fort Jackson, S.C., where he served as CSM of CASCOM’s Soldier Support Institute.
Although his new enlisted advisor has a non-logistical background, Fogg said he is “exactly what we need right now;” implying Escobedo symbolizes the diversity and wealth of experience present in the sustainment ranks.
“I’m proud of the fact our sustainment warfighting function is all of our MOSs and all of our skills because we need everybody as a team on the battlefield of the future,” Fogg said during his ceremony remarks.
Logisticians – transporters, quartermasters and ordnance Soldiers – comprise the bulk of the sustainment warfighting function. The combat support team, however, also includes troops in finance, personnel, postal services, and music, all of whom train at SSI.
During his time at the lectern, Escobedo was brief and succinct, thanking those who attended and for the opportunity to take on his new role. While he did not touch upon anything relating to his ground-breaking achievement as the first non-logistical background enlisted advisor to the commanding general, he did thank Fogg for the “tremendous opportunity” and for allowing him to continue serving as “part of this tremendous CASCOM team.” He also acknowledged, “It is an honor and privilege (to continue serving) in our great military, which I truly love and cherish every day I can do it.”
Escobedo reserved a special thanks to his predecessor who was only the second culinary specialist to hold the CASCOM CSM title.
“He is my mentor and the leader I aspire to be on a daily basis,” he said. “I truly appreciate everything he did for me prior to arriving here and after being selected. I have big shoes to fill.”
Escobedo, who was the SSI NCO Academy commandant prior to his last assignment, spent a considerable amount of years with the 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and Fort Benning, Ga. Between the two locations with the special operations light infantry unit, he logged at least 11 deployments.
Other assignments include a tour with the 1st Cavalry Division as a battalion CSM and the U.S. Army North Atlantic Treaty Organization Brigade in Sembach, Germany, as a brigade CSM.
Escobedo was among several top-notch senior enlisted Soldiers vying for the CASCOM CSM position, Fogg noted, and then confirmed he was “clearly the appropriate choice” following an exhaustive selection process.
“The best – absolute best – sustainment command sergeants major provided their files for me,” Fogg said. “You go through an interview process, and that’s the point when it became absolutely clear that after the end of all that, Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Escobedo was the one.”
Escobedo’s extensive and successive deployment experience – capped off with the two Bronze Stars he has earned – will figure prominently in the command’s emphasis on expanding schoolhouse field training programs, Fogg pointed out.
“That basis of (the CSM’s) knowledge and combat experience has transferred to all jobs afterward, and it will to this one,” Fogg said, “and it will be needed because we want to get better. We want to get better with the rigor and warriorization, and the many other things we do here to make sure our Soldiers are ready for their first units of assignment.”
After the ceremony, Escobedo sang the praises of all who contributed to his career, and those who toiled and sacrificed for the greater good.
“The reason I think I achieved this position is because of the people who served before me…and with me,” he said. “I truly believe the success of any leader is the result of the Soldiers and leaders you serve with.”
In addition to shaping Army Sustainment doctrine, CASCOM oversees the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation schools as well as the Army Logistics University and Soldier Support Institute. In total, the command trains more than 70,000 students annually in logistical and sustainment functions.