FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker welcomed its new garrison command sergeant major to the home of Army Aviation during a change of responsibility ceremony May 25 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher T. Doss, Fort Rucker garrison command sergeant major, assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond P. Quitugua Jr. as the garrison colors changed hands from Quitugua to Col. Robert J. Holcombe, garrison commander, to Doss.
Holcombe said Doss is a great fit to take on the duties of the garrison’s command sergeant major.
“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to a phenomenal leader like Command Sergeant Major Quitugua, but we are excited to welcome command sergeant major and Danielle Doss to the Wiregrass and garrison family,” the colonel said. “Command Sergeant Major Doss has a great reputation in Army Aviation and he is well qualified to assume his post as our CSM.
“Through our many conversations, it’s clear that he knows the task ahead and is ready to take on the challenge,” Holcombe added. “I’m excited to work with you, command sergeant major. I can’t think of a better person to maintain the momentum that the garrison has worked so hard to achieve.”
Doss said he was humbled to stand before the crowd at the ceremony and ready to serve.
“I use the word serve because it describes both our task and purpose to our nation, higher headquarters and each other,” he said. “We as leaders are blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the Soldiers, civilians and families that live and work on Fort Rucker and in the Wiregrass communities.”
Doss added that he’s eager to begin working with the Installation Management Command-Training, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, garrison and brigade team at the home of Army Aviation, and thanked Quitugua for a seamless transition.
“Colonel Holcombe, you lead an outstanding organization. I look forward to what we can accomplish together,” he added. “I am lucky to be a member of this team.”
Doss thanked the officers and NCOS who mentored him over the years, and also thanked his parents, and his wife and children.
Holcombe also spoke about Quitugua, reminding the attendees he arrived at Fort Rucker in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Under Command Sergeant Major Quitugua’s leadership, they (garrison staff) transformed into an organization capable of providing hands-on service, even when social distancing,” he said. “The garrison team set new standards throughout the pandemic, finding ways of safely conducting multiple live events, like Freedom Fest and the first Winterfest, Aviation Industry Days, community engagements and many more, ensuring that the strong bonds that hold us together as a community weren’t frayed by isolation and fear.
“They operated under conditions that garrisons were never designed to tackle,” Holcombe added. “Throughout the past 18 months, the garrison team stayed in the fight in the classrooms, in the hangars, in the barracks, and, yes, in the Coffee Zones, to make sure no element of USAACE or any other unit on Fort Rucker was lacking for support.
Through it all, Quitugua was there, the colonel said.
“His steady hand and ready ear somehow kept it all up and running,” he added. “He was there for all of us, watching our backs and was equally comfortable briefing junior Soldiers or fours-star generals. His love for this garrison and his teammates is absolute. He is a leader who knows his team so well that he can tell when someone is hurting and needs that extra attention. His competence and demeanor make him a sounding board not only for leadership throughout the installation, but also across this community and even other garrisons.
“The Army has recognized his potential for service in positions of greater responsibility and they are entrusting the entire Chemical Branch to his care and sending him to Fort Leonard Wood (Missouri),” Holcombe said. “He will certainly take them to great heights and will continue his amazing record of service to the Army and our nation.”
Quitugua spent most of his time at the podium speaking about the accomplishments of his garrison teammates, and how great it was working with the surrounding communities and leadership across USAACE and the rest of Fort Rucker.
“Senior leaders always ask what kind of a leader a subordinate aspires to be. My answer has always been the same: I want to be an inspirational leader who enacts transformational change,” the outgoing command sergeant major said. “Well, I will tell you this: this assignment has actually inspired me.”
He then thanked the garrison team, his former garrison commander, and USAACE, other unit and community leaders for making his time at Fort Rucker so rewarding. He also thanked his wife and children for all of their support.
“Well Fort Rucker, the Quituguas’ time here has come to a close,” he added. “I know it feels just as brief to you as it has to us; however, do not forget for a second how much we accomplished together. Fort Rucker has been really good to us, and we will forever hold this place and its people very close to our hearts.”