U.S. Army Garrison Fort Gordon welcomed a new command sergeant major and bid farewell to another.
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett relinquished his responsibilities to Command Sgt. Maj. Brent J. Smith during a change of responsibility ceremony Oct. 6 at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center.
Starrett served with the garrison for 18 months and will continue his service as the command sergeant major of 7th Signal Command.
Col. Shaw Pick, Fort Gordon garrison commander, said the ceremony was a time to celebrate Starrett’s achievements while welcoming Smith to Fort Gordon.
“This is truly a pinnacle moment for both of these seasoned professionals, for their families, and for the garrison team,” Pick said.
Pick also thanked Starrett’s family for their patience, sacrifice and service during his career, noting that his wife had done so much over the past two years in support of the Fort Gordon community. He went on to say that Starrett was the “steady, cool-headed leader” garrison needed, having been an instrumental part in the continued success of Fort Gordon’s ongoing growth and expansion.
“From business as usual, to the rapid transition to pandemic response, you have personified the agile, professional noncommissioned officer that the Army worked so hard to create – and in your case, my friend, they have succeeded,” Pick said. “Critical focus areas such as barracks revitalization, family housing, Soldier pay and readiness, did not skip a beat during the command transition because you were able to keep me straight with one hand and maintain a laser-like focus on these no-fail missions with the other.”
Welcoming Smith to the team, Pick said the Army has placed “immense trust” in its selection.
“You’ve been vouched for by some of the finest Ranger Regiment buddies I have, so I have zero doubt in my mind what you’re capable of and what you’re going to deliver for the garrison.”
Starrett opened his remarks by expressing gratitude for everyone who served with him, including his wife and children.
“If I am a success,it is the garrison team that made me a success, and the Soldiers and the families that support those Soldiers,” Starrett said. “Any leader who has been in this great institution for any amount of time understands the success is measured by achievement, by impacts made to the organization and to the Army. More importantly, we recognize that those achievements were only possible because of the people around us.”
No stranger to Fort Gordon, Smith said he is looking forward to embarking on his new journey and feels confident about the future of Fort Gordon.
“I can see success written all over Fort Gordon, because I’ve seen the progress, I’ve seen the community come together, and all we have to do as leaders is keep it together,” he said.
Smith began his career with the Arkansas Army National Guard then enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1992 as combat medic. He reclassified as an information technology specialist(25B)inApril 1999. Smith holds an associate’s degree in general studies from American Military University, and is completing his Bachelor of Science degree in information system security with a concentration in cybersecurity management. Previous assignments include serving as command sergeant major of 551st Signal Battalion.