ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Garrison-Rock Island Arsenal conducted a change of responsibility ceremony Feb. 10, in which Command Sgt. Maj. John Dobbins relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. James Brown here in Heritage Hall.
The change of responsibility ceremony is a tradition where the outgoing senior enlisted leader in a command position symbolically relinquishes responsibility and authority by passing the unit colors to the incoming senior enlisted leader, thus beginning a new dawn of leadership for the incoming command sergeant major and the command.
Col. Dan Mitchell, commander of USAG-RIA, spoke about his time working with Dobbins and commended his, and his family’s unwavering support of the arsenal and Quad Cities communities during their time on the installation.
“Rock Island Arsenal adds another milestone to its 160-year history with this change of responsibility, and the Dobbins family will forever be a part of that legacy,” he said.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Dobbins, Olivia and their sons, Hudson and Holden, embraced our community here and were embraced in return. They opened their home for the Tour of Homes, Ran the Rock, supported the QC Marathon runners, and even became Guardians for Halloween.
They’ve been friends and leaders as we’ve emerged from COVID, rebuilding our community, and encouraging us all to live with compassion, understanding, and comradery. In short, they’ve been all-in on Rock Island Arsenal, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve with you.”
Dobbins has served in the position since July 21, 2021. He is leaving RIA with his next duty assignment as the nominative command sergeant major at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Although his time at RIA has ended, he said the arsenal and Quad Cities community will always be a part of him as he moves to his new position.
“People are our Army’s greatest assets,” he said. “That includes Soldiers, Civilians, families, and the community. I want to thank you for all the support you have given the Arsenal -- the Quad cities are a wonderful community that supports the military and I hope that bond continues to grow.”
He also spoke about how his family’s love has been a key element of his success.
‘Without your commitment to the Army way of life, I would not be here today,” he said.
Brown, who served most recently as the command sergeant major of the 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is excited at the opportunities his new leadership position brings to him and he and his wife, Nicole, and their family.
Brown said he has a deep appreciation for the history of RIA not only in the Army, but in the Quad Cities.
“I will always put my best foot forward and do my best to make Rock Island Arsenal a better place,” he said. “What a privilege it is to be a part of an installation that touts such a rich history – it’s truly an honor to be entrusted with one of the Army’s gems.”
RIA is the only full-service Army installation in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, providing support to more than 54,000 Active, Reserve, and Retired Military, Civilian employees and family members within a 150-mile radius. RIA is our nation’s largest government-owned and operated arsenal and is home to over 50 DoD organizations.