FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 20, 2022) -- The 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum community welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Nema Mobarakzadeh (Mobar) as the new division senior enlisted adviser, and bade farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Terenas, during a change of responsibility ceremony July 20 at Memorial Park.
Maj. Gen. (P) Milford H. Beagle Jr., 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, said that Mobarakzadeh is a perfect fit for the division.
“You epitomize servant leadership and excellence in every single way,” he said. “You will be our guide on this next leg of our climb, setting conditions for excellence … and the calm voice when needed, when our climb starts to get steep.”
Mobarakzadeh and his family arrived at Fort Drum from Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he served as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s command sergeant major.
“They have been part of this family, but at a distance in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team – the Patriot Brigade,” Beagle said. “They will not be strangers to taking care of Soldiers and families. They will not be strangers to our way of life and our focus on this division. There is no question that Command Sgt. Maj. Mobar will improve upon and extend the great things that Command Sgt. Maj. Terenas set in motion.”
Mobarakzadeh said that he was grateful and humbled for the opportunity to continue serving the 10th Mountain Division.
“I will work every day to take care of our Mountain Tough Soldiers,” he said. “My pledge to this division is to use the authority of my position to look after our Soldiers and work with our leaders to prepare us to fight and win in any environment.”
Beagle thanked Terenas for his exceptional leadership and dedication to the Army.
“He has literally moved mountains for this division and for our Army,” he said.
He credited Terenas with leading the way to merging testing for expert Soldier, infantry and medical badges so more service members can complete the training and validate proficiency.
“The 10th Mountain Division was the first division to do that,” Beagle said. “As Sgt. Maj. Terenas would say, ‘It just made sense.’”
Terenas also worked to improve quality of life for Soldiers, asking them to speak directly to him or through social media if they had any problems or issues he could address. Beagle recalled a time when one Soldier did precisely that when there was a broken toilet seat in the barracks.
“Sergeant Major goes there with his tools, but he also goes there with the platoon sergeant, the battalion sergeant major, the first sergeant and the brigade sergeant major,” Beagle said. “He fixed the seat with his own two hands. Most people that saw that thought that wasn’t a big mountain. But to someone like Sgt. Maj. Terenas, that was a big mountain for that Soldier, and he moved that mountain.”
Terenas, who previously served at Fort Drum as battalion command sergeant major for 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, retires from the Army after 32 years of service. When he assumed responsibility of the division in March 2020, Terenas promised Soldiers that he would do his best every single day. Beagle said that his mantra, “Don’t be average,” was inspiration to all.
“I can’t overstate his desire and passion to do right by Soldiers,” Beagle said. “He will be credited with reinvigorating the Mountain Warrior spirit here with five simple words: ‘Don’t Be Average’ and ‘Mountain Tough.’ Mountain 7, you have left your jersey in a better place than you found it, you’ve absolutely left it all on the field, and you’ve led by example 100 percent of the time, every single day.”
Terenas said that any measure of success he had as division command sergeant major was a result of the people he served.
“I was surrounded by amazing Soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division,” he said. “I was surrounded by peers, I was surrounded by leaders, I was surrounded by Department of the Army civilians and contractors, and above all, this awesome community in the North Country. Without them I would not have been able to achieve anything.”