906th Contracting Battalion welcomes new Senior Enlisted Leader

By Maj. James KoSeptember 23, 2021

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DAEGU - Soldiers, Family members and friends gathered at the Camp Henry Theater Sep. 17 to witness the 906th Contracting Battalion change of responsibility ceremony between Sergeant Major Sheldon Thomas and Sergeant Major Deaquennette Thomas.

Lieutenant Colonel Vinh B. Nguyen, Commander of the 906th Contracting Battalion, presided over the ceremony in which he passed the battalion colors from Sgt Maj. Sheldon Thomas, the outgoing battalion sergeant major, to Sgt. Maj Deaquennette Thomas, the incoming battalion sergeant major. In her new role, she is responsible for the health, welfare and readiness of Soldiers, their families, Department of the Army Civilians, and local national member of the workforce.

“Today is a bittersweet day as we part with an amazing battle buddy and a great friend. The impacts you made this past year during the COVID-19 environment speak volume to your accomplishments,” Nguyen said of the outgoing sergeant major.

“The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the positive culture that you have created: 15 people extended their tour in Korea through Advanced Incentive Payment (AIP), Foreign Service Tour Extension (FSTE), and command sponsorships (CSP). For context, that is over 50% of the battalion Soldiers who wanted to voluntarily extend due to the leadership you demonstrated. You fostered a culture where our leaders are empowered, who want to be here and will be value added to any organization in the future.”

The outgoing Thomas began his remarks with a comparison between the ceremony and its timing.

“As I write this speech, I noticed that there is a level of symbolism with this change of responsibility, since this is both the end of 4th quarter in the fiscal year. With the end of 4th quarter there is a closing of the financial and contractual books, accounting for the year’s work.” Thomas said. “A change of responsibility is the same kind of thing, the closing or changing of another kind of book, the book on responsibility and stewardship, and how one person interprets or defines that book.”

He further praised the incoming Thomas saying, “Sgt. Maj. Deaquennette Thomas is the right kind of transformational leader that’ll propel this organization forward and I know the contracting professionals in this organization are in great hands.”

Sgt. Maj Deaquennette Thomas, who began her contracting career in this same battalion, thanked her predecessor and the members of the battalion for a smooth transition, stating “To the officers, NCOs, Civilians, and KGS employees within the battalion and the brigade, you all are awesome. Thank you for welcoming me, your professionalism, the support, and generosity.”

Sgt. Maj. Sheldon Thomas departs the Republic of Korea for his next assignment as the G4 Sergeant Major of U.S. Army South, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.