FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Aug. 27, 2020) -- When Col. Richard Harrison and Command Sgt. Maj. Randy Gray were welcomed as the Air Defense Artillery School and ADA branch command team, it wasn’t the first time they had been teammates.In 2007, Gray was a first sergeant at 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery, and then-Major Harrison was the unit’s executive officer, Gray said.Now as commandant, Harrison interviewed five highly qualified candidates to be his CSM.Gray said he believes he was selected because his leadership style and management philosophy were a good match with Harrison’s.Over the next couple years, Harrison and Gray will manage the training curriculum of enlisted and officer air defense warriors in almost a dozen courses, and lead the branch during these dynamic times of technological advances.CommandantHarrison was most recently the executive officer to the commanding general, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. This is his first assignment at the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.The colonel said he was looking forward to working at the schoolhouse.“I’ve been away for awhile doing staff jobs, but now I’m excited about being at Fort Sill and this community and being able to impact and influence some of our junior officers, junior Soldiers, and NCOs,” he said.Air defense technologies being tested include the Integrated Battle Command System, Harrison said. Its network of sensors feeds the best data to Patriot missile batteries, so the battery with the best shot will fire during battle.“It was whispered to me a couple minutes ago that we had two successful shots today (Aug. 20), which ties into the successful shots we had last week,” said Harrison, who is also the deputy commanding officer for the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.“We’re also fielding a Maneuver – SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense) capability, which enables us to provide air defense artillery support to maneuver (ground) commands on the battlefield,” he said.As an ROTC cadet at Elizabeth City (North Carolina) State University, Harrison said he was looking at a combat arms branch.“I didn’t want to walk, so I didn’t want to be infantry. I didn’t want to ride in tanks, so I didn’t want to be armor,” said Harrison, who was first-generation military in his family. “ADA really fit me.”As a cadet at summer camp at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Harrison said he saw the Avenger and Stinger weapon systems demonstrated to him by Lt. Marlon James.“He was a true inspiration to me, and really motivated me to be air defense artillery,” said Harrison, who has been in the Army for 26 years.The commandant described his leadership style as P.H.D. – pride, hustle, and desire.“I take pride in everything that I touch; I move with a sense of purpose, I like to hustle about things; I talk fast, I think fast,” he said. “And, I have a strong desire to do the very best in everything that I do; and to ensure my subordinates do.”Harrison has been on the job about one month.“It’s been exciting, it’s been fast- paced,” he said. “I categorize it as a meme of me in front of a (gushing) fire hydrant, getting information pushed to me.”CSMGray didn’t have to travel far for his new job. He was the CSM for the 30th ADA Brigade here.“I am absolutely humbled by the opportunity, by my selection, and my ability to serve my Soldiers,” said Gray, who has been active duty for 26 years, plus four years as a National Guard Soldier, all in ADA.He said being the branch CSM isn’t that much different from being brigade CSM.“My job is to ensure that the commandant’s policies are fully embraced and executed; to take care of our Soldiers, and be the advocate for the enlisted Soldiers and their families,” said Gray, who graduated from Newbury (South Carolina) High School in 1991.The CSM said because he’s been here two years, he already knows many of the people he’ll be working with.“Most of the contacts will stay the same, the additional thing that I’ll do is reach across the other branches as well,” said Gray, who also is first-generation military. “In that regard, I’ll ensure that we are competitive throughout the Army, and the joint force.”Gray descibed himself as a servant-leader.“Whatever my leaders need, that’s exactly what I’m going to do; whatever my Soldiers need, that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.It’s an exciting time to be an air defender, said Gray, whose older brother was also an enlisted ADA Soldier.There are a lot of things going on in the branch because of the Army modernization, and the initiatives affecting both enlisted and officers, he said.Gray said the branch CSM tour is 30 months long. He said he has spoken with Harrison and one of the things they want to do is bring a sense of pride throughout the profession and branch.