FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Speaking to the newest Army Soldiers can be an honor for any Army senior leader, but for the Army’s senior enlisted sustainer a recent Basic Combat Training graduation had a special meaning.
The 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, hosted a graduation ceremony for more than 600 Soldiers, Feb. 3. Among the graduates stood Pvt. Zahn Delgado, son of Army Materiel Command’s senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Alberto Delgado.
“Standing with all these great Soldiers is my son,” said Delgado, who was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony. “I can tell you from my heart as a service member that this is the most special day, to know my son is standing in uniform and carrying on our family’s proud tradition, it mean so much.”
Delgado, who has served in the Army for 35 years, spoke to the graduates about the path ahead of them.
“I stood where you are standing, ready and willing, but not fully knowing all the success and opportunities the Army would offer me,” he said. “I look out in the audience today, and I see future Command Sergeants Major and future General Officers, because in the Army you can do whatever you want to do as long as you put in the hard work.”
Delgado encouraged the graduates to take what they learned during training at Fort Jackson and build their Army career.
“The Army has equipped you to be successful,” he said. “It has given you skills, capabilities, knowledge and experience to be the Soldier you want to be. It’s also given you a team – brothers and sisters who will have your back through thick and thin.”
To the parents of the graduates, he imparted a promise to take care of their children. Something he now, for the first time, understands as both a Soldier and as the parent of a Soldier.
“I will do everything in my power to protect their safety and afford them every opportunity to develop and grow in this honorable profession,” Delgado said.