Command Sgt. Maj. Marissa M. Cisneros took control of the duties of the CASCOM Logistics Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant today as Brig. Gen. James M. Smith, 31st Chief of Transportation and interim ALU President, transferred the colors at a mid-morning ceremony in the Lee Club.
Cisneros is the first female commandant at LNCOA at ALU and CASCOM.
Cisneros previously served as the 401st Army Field Support Brigade CSM in Southwest Asia. She took academy's reins from Sgt. Maj. Ariel A. King , who is moving to the Ordnance School.
After the ceremony, Cisneros shared plans for settling into her new assignment.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the people here and building those relationships,” she observed. “I want to find out who does what on the team, and I want to see what their priorities are and continue to build on that. I’ll also want to develop external relationships with the other schoolhouses and Fort Lee proper, as I need to find out their concerns and priorities and integrate them into our processes.
“Right now, we’re working to update the program of instruction, and we’re working through the pandemic, finding more ways to ensure that, one, we’re being safe, and two, that the NCOs coming to our academy are receiving the best learning experience they can get during their time with us,” she said.
After the passing of the colors ceremony; signifying that the new leader takes charge of the academy, Smith, bid farewell to Sgt. Maj. King and his family, and welcomed the new commandant and her husband to the team.
“In the five months prior to assuming commandant duties, Sgt. Maj. King had already presented himself as an integral part of this organization while serving as its assistant leader,” Smith said. “He was running the academy’s day-to-day operations and helping execute many great initiatives.”
One such initiative is the LNCOA mentorship program that leverages CASCOM’s G3/5/7 and the sergeant major ranks to ensure every student attending the advanced or senior leaders courses receives personal and professional support from those at the top of the leadership ladder across CASCOM.
“Sgt. Maj. King assumed the commandant’s position five months ago in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic with more than 600 students training on three separate installations. With the health and safety of our NCOs serving as his guiding principle, he quickly implemented measures to keep all personnel safe while continuing to execute training,” Smith pointed out.
“The academy rapidly migrated the vast majority of its program of instruction from resident in-class sessions to a digital distance learning platform, while at the same time training and certifying 150 cadre members on Blackboard. … During this unprecedented time, Sgt. Maj. King proved he was clearly up to the task of leading the Logistics NCO Academy, putting people first and mission always.”
The general concluded his remarks with a thanks to King for his strength and stability that the NCO academy needed and deserved.
“Your actions further emphasized that our people are the centerpiece of the Army, and we must do all we can to take care of them. Thank you.”
Smith then welcomed Cisneros and her husband Daniel to Fort Lee, CASCOM and the LNCOA. He began touting her qualifications for the position.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Cisneros brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to the LNCOA and the Army Logistics University. Her many years of command team and war-fighting experience within the logistics community and the U.S. Army have certainly prepared her for this great assignment. … (She is ready) to take the LNCOA and ALU to new heights yet again”
As Smith stepped away from the lectern, King took his place to say farewell.
“I will only highlight one of our significant achievements while I’m up here,” he said. “This required a total effort during my tenure, as the academy adapted to change in operational environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March, our resident courses were able to fully disconnect from the classroom and plug into a distance learning set in order to continue training and exercise social distancing.”
King further explained, “At that time, we had 652 students in-house, all of whom met their respective course requirements, but in order to do so, we had to improvise. We had to use platforms such as Zoom, Google classroom and others. Within a 90-day timeframe, due to the dedication and commitment of our cadre and staff, the academy now has the capability to teach courses through a distance learning platform, therefore, meeting the requirements of phase one digital migration.”
He then thanked his team for all of their hard work on this and other projects during his time at the academy.
“Over the last few months, I have had the pleasure to observe your commitment to this organization, and I just want you to know that your efforts and hard work did not go unnoticed. Thank you all for what you have done, and I know you will continue to enhance this great institution.”