REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Members of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command welcomed a new command sergeant major and bid a fond farewell to a Soldier, leader and friend.
Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Foley became the command’s 13th command sergeant major when he assumed the top-level noncommissioned officer responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, March 3.
“Thank you for selecting me as your command sergeant major and having the faith and confidence for me to be able to help lead this organization from here into the future,” Foley said. “We are super, super excited to be here. To have an opportunity to serve you all is what this is all about. I look forward to meeting you all and learning what you do for the command so I can support your excellence and success in support of the warfighter.”
Foley, a native of Panama City, Florida, enlisted in the Army in July 1989 and has served in command sergeant major positions at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Steward, Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Shafter and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; and overseas in Korea.
“Thank you all for attending this special day with my family,” Foley said. “I thank you all for your service and especially all the sacrifices families make as they support their Soldiers.”
Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, USASMDC commanding general, said it was a momentous occasion to honor two magnificent command sergeants major. He said Foley and Dodson epitomize the NCO creed and live it every day.
During the change of responsibility, Karbler passed the command’s colors to Foley, entrusting him as USASMDC’s newest senior enlisted adviser.
He then welcomed the Foleys as the newest members of the USASMDC family.
“Like the song says, the Army goes rolling along,” Karbler said. “And now we go rolling forward with Command Sgt. Maj. John Foley. Welcome to SMDC. Now you have 2,600 teammates who will be looking to you for leadership. And I know that under your leadership, we will continue our upper trajectory here at Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
“I look forward to working with you,” he added. “We’re going to set Army space and set SMDC for 2030 together and chart its course. I am excited to do it with you.”
Karbler then thanked Dodson for his 35 years of service in the Army and for his partnership in the USASMDC command team. He said Dodson has earned the respect and confidence of Soldiers, officers, NCOs and civilians in every formation he has been assigned.
“Everyone who has come in contact with Command Sgt. Maj. Dodson is a better person for it, myself included,” Karbler said. “He leaves a legacy of selfless service behind. He embodies ‘People First’ leadership. He is loyal, to a fault, with everybody he has served with; he exercises initiative; he has never compromised his integrity; and he has been known to take a selfie or two. He is a leader who is dynamic, energetic, focused on the mission, and always taking care of Soldiers.”
Dodson became USASMDC’s senior enlisted adviser in March 2019. During the ceremony, he said that growing up in Olive Branch, Mississippi, his family instilled in him the core values of loyalty, respect, honor, integrity and personal courage. Dodson said what he got with the Army were the values of duty and selfless service.
“With the Army, I got to serve,” Dodson said. “At the end of the day, I got to serve you all. To be able to serve the Soldiers and families is the best thing we can do as leaders. Serving has been the honor of my life.”
He took time to thank all who came out and said he was honored to be there.
“Thank you for letting me have the honor of serving you for 35 years,” Dodson said. “I will be always in your debt. It has been an honor to serve you. You are all amazing.”