The U.S. Army’s 93rd Signal Brigade held a change of responsibility ceremony on Joint Base Langley-Eustis Friday, March 17, 2023. Command Sgt. Maj. Keith D. Gordon Jr. relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Jovan C. Velasquez.
Presiding over the ceremony was Colonel Kristy K. Perry, Commander, 93rd Signal Brigade. Col. Perry remarked that non-commissioned officers are the Army's backbone, but a Brigade Sergeant Major is the unit's heartbeat, and CSM Gordon played a crucial part in that role.
“This is a significant day in the lives of Sgt. Maj. Gordon, Sgt. Maj. Velasquez, and their families,” said Col. Perry. “The opportunity to be a Brigade Command Sergeant Major is increasingly rare today. It’s very competitive in today’s Army, and only the best are selected.”
In his remarks, Command Sgt. Maj. Gordon thanked the former and current 93rd commanders for their strong leadership and recognized the Soldiers and Civilians for their support.
“We are a value-based organization,” said CSM Gordon. “We strive for excellence and our folks are our competitive advantage.”
Assuming responsibility as the brigade’s highest enlisted Soldier is Command Sgt. Maj. Jovan C. Velasquez. He most recently served as Operations Sergeant Major & Command Sergeant Major, 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion - Enhanced, Baumholder, Germany. He has served in a variety of other assignments, including Signal Support Systems Chief, 1/25th SBCT, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; and Switching Systems Technician & First Sergeant, White House Communications Agency, Washington, D.C. CSM Velasquez enlisted in the Army in 2000 and attended basic training at Fort Benning, GA as a 25U Signal Support System Specialist.
“To the Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and contractors of the 93rd Signal Brigade, I look forward to working for each and every one of you as you are critical to accomplishing our mission," said Command Sgt. Maj. Velasquez.
The 93rd Signal Brigade was originally constituted as the 93d Signal Battalion on 3 November 1941 and activated on 15 May 1942 at Camp Crowder, Missouri. 93d Signal Battalion departed New York aboard the Queen Elizabeth and arrived in England on 26 April 1944. Shortly after its arrival, The Battalion shipped out for France to support forces deployed to Normandy. 93d Signal Battalion served in Luxembourg for the duration of the Ardennes Campaign and deployed into Germany on 9 March 1945 until the end of the war.
On 22 December 1945, 93d Signal Battalion left Europe aboard the Texarkana Victory Ship en route to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Shortly after their arrival, 93d Signal Battalion was inactivated at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia on 3 January 1946. 93d Signal Battalion was called back to active duty on 24 February 1955 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona and one decade later it was inactivated on 21 September 1972.
93d Signal Brigade was activated again in Germany on 16 March 1981. The Brigade then deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 with 7th (VII) Corps in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The unit deactivated along with 7th (VII) Corps after Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In February 1998, 93d Signal Brigade was activated once again at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where it would remain for almost 10 years. Elements of the Brigade deployed multiple times in support of the Global War on Terrorism, particularly Operation Iraqi Freedom I, II, and III. 93d Signal Brigade was deactivated and reflagged as the 35th Signal Brigade on 16 April 2007. In 2008, 93d Signal Brigade would again call Fort Eustis, Virginia its home, this time with a new mission as part of the newly formed 7th Signal Command (Theater).
93d Signal Brigade honors include Campaign streamers for participation in World War II, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, Southwest Asia, Defense of Saudi Arabia; liberation and defense of Kuwait; and the cease-fire ending Operation Desert Storm.