SAGAMIHARA, Japan – Pacific Guardians welcomed a new command sergeant major on Thanksgiving Eve, culminating with a brigade-wide celebration.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kellen C. Rowley assumed responsibility of the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade during a ceremony at Sagami General Depot Nov. 25.
“When Command Sgt. Maj. Rowley was selected to serve as Pacific Guardian 7, my emails were flooded with notes from leaders across the [Air Defense] branch singing his praises,” said Col. Matthew W. Dalton, 38th ADA commander. “From folks that knew him as platoon sergeant, first sergeant, and previous position as battalion command sergeant major, they all had great things to say.”
The commander of the 38th ADA presided over the assumption of responsibility ceremony and emphasized the significance of a brigade senior enlisted advisor in line with the Army’s priority: its people.
“The position of the CSM cannot be understated, however the position was not always around,” said Dalton, a Portland, Connecticut native. “The Army chief of staff directed the establishment of the command sergeant major and it was codified in Army command policy. In responsibilities, it stated to supervise the training of individual Soldiers in the squad, section, or crew from the first-line leaders with support from the platoon sergeants, first sergeant, and command sergeants major which later became the foundation of the noncommissioned officer support chain.”
Rowley, a native of Rochester, New York, served as command sergeant major of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before arriving to Japan.
“I’m very excited to be here,” said Rowley. “I’d like to thank Col. Dalton for hosting this ceremony, welcoming my family to the team, and Sgt. Maj. [George S.] Rupprecht for setting up the ceremony, guiding the brigade, taking care of us and sharing your knowledge of everything you’ve learned over the last several months.”
Rowley is replacing Command Sgt. Maj. Neil H. Sartain who departed July 10 upon selection to assume responsibility of the 94th Army Air Missile Defense Command at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Rupprecht served as interim brigade command sergeant major and passed the reigns to Rowley during the ceremony.
“I will take the experience and lessons learned with me to my next assignment as 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment command sergeant major at Fort Sill,” said Rupprecht. “I look forward to serving alongside former Pacific Guardians and continuing to promote the Army’s ‘This is my Squad’ initiative to enhance cohesion, build trust among our Soldiers, and combat all corrosives, while promoting a tradition of excellence.”
The ceremony was followed by a brigade-wide celebration of the new senior enlisted advisor and upcoming holiday by enjoying a meal with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings at the various locations in both Guam and Japan. Command teams and senior leaders served meals to as many Pacific Guardians as possible, a long-standing military tradition on the holidays where leaders serve their Soldiers to demonstrate appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
“Soldiers, civilians, families and friends of the Pacific Guardian Brigade: Bree and I, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Rowley and Doris wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving,” said Dalton. “As we reflect on all the reasons we are grateful, CSM and I are especially thankful to have you on the 38th ADA team. We appreciate all you do each day. It’s your hard work, dedication, and professionalism that makes this brigade exceptional. By Valor and Power!”