FORT BUCHANAN, P.R.-- A change of responsibility ceremony is a long traditional event rich in symbolism and heritage within the military.
This ceremony reinforces noncommissioned officer authority in the Army and highlights their support to the chain of command.
The U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico change of responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck, outgoing senior federal Army noncommissioned officer in the Caribbean, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Meunier honored the long tradition here, June 26.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Breck not only lived the Army values but daily showed us what awesome is all about," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey W. Jurasek, 1st Mission Support Command commanding general and senior federal Army officer in the Caribbean. "He ensured the mission was always accomplished and never gave up."
The main highlight of the ceremony is the passing of colors, which represents the lineage, and honors of the 1st Mission Support Command. For 27 months, Breck was the custodian of the colors for the commanding general.
Selected personnel from each brigade battalion witnessed the change of responsibility. Six soldiers from the 166th Regional Support Group were the color guard.
Sgt. Maj. Julio Linares, 1st MSC G-3/5/7 operations sergeant major, led the color guard towards the 1st MSC commanding general. "Sir, the colors are present!" said proud Linares.
As part of the ceremony, Linares passed the colors to Breck, who then gave the colors to the commanding general as a symbol of relinquishing his responsibility.
"As a reflection of my 27 months here and the rollercoaster ride that it was," said Breck. "I could honestly say that I have learned more in that time than in any other commands."
The crowd cheered for Breck during his touching speech. He thanked Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz, former 1st MSC commanding general for selecting him to serve on this beautiful island during his last duty assignment, he said.
This change of responsibility ceremony represents his last official act in the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, as he retires after serving the Nation for more than 40 years.
Once the commanding general received the colors from Breck, he passed the colors to Meunier, naming him the new senior federal Army enlisted advisor in the Caribbean and command sergeant major of the 1st Mission Support Command.
Meunier gratefully received the new assignment, directed himself towards the units, and expressed his commitment to the organization.
"The presence of an NCO is significant for the community and the soldiers," said Rene Berlingeri, U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador for Puerto Rico and former command sergeant major of the 166th Regional Support Group. "The CSM is the senior enlisted advisor of the commander regarding the welfare of the soldiers."
Berlingeri and Fernando Fernandez, U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador for Puerto Rico and former commanding general of the 1st Mission Support Command, were part of the distinguished guests for the ceremony, among others.
"The military ceremonies represent historical events," said Fernandez. "As an ambassador for the organization, we are here to support the new command sergeant major."
With approximately 5,000 soldiers, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico is the largest federal U.S. Army Command in the Caribbean, and has units in Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Yauco, Ponce, Juana Diaz, Ceiba, Salinas, Puerto Nuevo, Virgin Islands, and headquarters at Fort Buchanan.