FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Command Sergeant Major Joseph G. Harbour, U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Campbell garrison, bade farewell to the installation Nov. 10 at Wilson Theater during a relinquishment of responsibility and retirement ceremony, capping off a 29-year Army career.
Harbour assumed the role of garrison senior enlisted adviser May 28, 2020. He began his Army career with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, followed by a tour with 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell.
Throughout his career, Harbour distinguished himself as a dedicated leader and strong advocate whether leading Soldiers during combat operations in the Middle East or serving as garrison senior enlisted adviser. He served in leadership positions at Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Greely, Alaska; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Campbell.
“My career has been a blessing, and I’ve worked with some of the finest warriors and met some amazing individuals,” Harbour said. “The Army afforded me the opportunity to meet my wife Lori, who was the key to my success. We were married during my first tour at Fort Campbell and left just a few short months later.”
Harbour and his Family always knew they wanted to return to Fort Campbell, and they were given the chance while he was deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
“Although I was in the middle of multiple deployments, Lori knew that she had her Family and the Fort Campbell community to pull her through any situation,” he said.
In 2019, Harbour selected Fort Campbell garrison command sergeant major as his No. 1 choice in his packet for the board.
“We had decided that if I did not get the job then we were going to retire,” he said.
Harbour was ultimately selected for the position, but after many years as an infantryman he knew he needed to adapt to serving as a leader of the garrison’s primarily civilian workforce.
As time passed he became more comfortable as part of the garrison command team and felt like he could make a difference for the installation’s Soldiers, Families and civilians, Harbour said.
“I quickly realized what made Fort Campbell so special,” he said. “It was the amazing professional civilian workforce. You do all the work behind the scenes and never get the credit you deserve, so to all the team here in attendance today I would personally like to thank you and give you a round of applause for what you do each and every day.”
By the time Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, Fort Campbell garrison commander, assumed command June 28, 2021, Harbour knew the ins and outs of the garrison’s operations.
“Command Sergeant Major Harbour was my lifeline on many occasions,” Jordan said. “He helped me understand the inner workings of the garrison and always made sure I knew what the ground truth was and what we had to accomplish each day.”
Jordan presented Harbour with the Legion of Merit award during the ceremony for his service that included contributions to the Installation Management Command-Readiness Best Garrison Award and the 2021 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence.
The Legion of Merit also recognized Harbour’s role as the installation’s Crisis Action Team director at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the team, he helped develop contingency plans for rapid deployments, training and installation support services.
“It didn’t take me long to figure out that nobody loves this division more than [Command Sgt. Maj. Harbour], and I could call on him about anything,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Veronica Knapp, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) senior enlisted adviser. “Not just about being a great garrison command sergeant major and to lead me on taking care of Soldiers, but anything. I could call ... and [he] had an answer for me.”
Knapp was among several installation and community leaders who presented gifts to Harbour and his wife, Lori, before his retirement ceremony. In addition to several commemorative plaques and certificates, Harbour received commissions as a Kentucky Colonel and Tennessee Colonel Aide-de-Camp for his years of service at Fort Campbell.
“The Army, the United States and Fort Campbell are all better because of the role that you played,” said David Roudybush, deputy to the garrison commander, to Harbour during the award ceremony. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve with you, even if it was for just a short point of your career. But I’m most honored to be able to call you a friend.”