Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty assumes responsibility as the senior enlisted advisor to Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command and APG senior commander, during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Myer Auditorium Aug. 2, 2022.
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty assumes responsibility as the senior enlisted advisor to Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command and APG senior commander, during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Myer Auditorium Aug. 2, 2022. (Photo Credit: Sean Kief, CECOM Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Kristie Brady and welcomed incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Myer Auditorium here, Aug. 2, 2022. The event was also live streamed on the CECOM Facebook page.

The change of responsibility is a simple but traditional ceremony rich with symbolism and heritage. The key to the event is the passing of the colors. The colors represent the lineage of the unit and the loyalty of its members. The role of command sergeant major is to protect the colors. The CSM is the senior-most enlisted Soldier in the unit and serves as the principal advisor to the commander.

The passing of the colors from Brady to Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson II, commanding general of CECOM and APG senior commander, signified the passing of her responsibility. Passing the colors from Edmonson to Conaty signified the trust and confidence that Edmonson is placing in the new CSM’s leadership to care for the organization.

Edmonson thanked everyone in attendance and those watching virtually for joining in for the “spectacular event.”

“The role of CSM is an important one,” Edmonson said. “They serve as advisors and direct liaisons between command leadership and the workforce. They are the backbone of the Army.”

Addressing Brady directly, Edmonson said she always “noticed things that [he] didn’t see at first.” He said Brady continuously earned his respect and confidence.

“Everyone needs someone who can hold them accountable,” Edmonson said. “It’s hard to see you go but I believe wholeheartedly in the success you will have with this new opportunity.”

Brady’s next assignment will be as executive officer to the Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Michael Grinston, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

Brady thanked CECOM for the warm welcome she received two years ago. She credited Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo, former CECOM commander, with giving her the chance to serve the organization. She said he taught her about mentorship, leadership and friendship. She added that Edmonson supported her from the moment he took over the command.

“You trusted me and allowed me to not only be CECOM’s CSM, but your CSM,” Brady said to Edmonson.

CECOM is passionately curious, said Brady, and the diversity and operational flexibility of the workforce defines the unit.

“Be proud of who you are and what you do,” Brady said, addressing the CECOM workforce. “I am proud to have served all of you.”

Official portrait of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.
Official portrait of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Conaty, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Incoming CSM
Edmonson and Conaty have worked together twice prior to coming to CECOM. Conaty’s most recent assignment was as the sergeant major to the deputy Chief of Staff, G-6/Chief Information Officer with the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“With our history, I think [Conaty] will be a great addition and lead with People First,” Edmonson said. “I’m excited to see what he brings to CECOM. I have no doubt he will come to call this place ‘home.’”

As the command sergeant major for a 9000-person, two-star global command, Conaty serves as the U.S. Army’s command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and medical materiel integrator. He is responsible for enabling the Army’s warfighting readiness by providing sustainable global C5ISR and medical materiel support.

“You and your teammates produce amazing results every day to serve a purpose greater than yourselves,” Conaty said. “Our Soldiers and nation count on you. When the Army calls, you answer.”

Raised in Seaford, New York, Conaty has a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Thomas Edison State University. During his 30 years of service, Conaty has served in a variety of command and staff positions. Conaty has held leadership positions at every operational level from squad leader to command sergeant major with multiple significant assignments.

“I’m humbled to serve as your CSM,” Conaty said. “I promise my best efforts every day.”