The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training said farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Beeson while welcoming Command Sgt. Maj. Michael McMurdy during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at Fort Eustis, Va. April 12.
In a long list of accomplishments and praise for Beeson during his time at USACIMT, Maj. Gen. John Kline, the USACIMT Commanding General, said one of the most lasting impacts Beeson will have on the Army is changing the culture during initial entry training to one that builds trust with future Soldiers.
“He affected change that eventually would influence over 250,000 Soldiers that are in our ranks today,” said Kline. “When I say he transformed them, I mean something a little bit more than just teaching future Soldiers how to shoot, move, and communicate. His focus included a more holistic end state of building a Soldier that was immediately prepared to integrate and contribute meaningfully at their first unit of assignment.”
Kline said to truly affect that culture change, they had to first train-the-trainers at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy to ensure drill sergeants were capable of earning trust by treating others with dignity and respect rather than breaking trust through fear and intimidation.
“Ultimately, he wanted trainees to look up to drill sergeants in awe and inspire to be one someday,” stated Kline. “Drill sergeants today not only teach future Soldiers how to don the Army uniform, but what it means to wear the Nation’s cloth. What it means to wear the American flag on our shoulder.”
In his remarks, Beeson emphasized the importance of engaged and servant leadership in building trust.
“Respect is earned and not given,” he said. “People remember your legacy because of who you are as a person and how you treat people, not because of what you were in charge of.”
Beeson will retire later this summer after more than 35 years of military service, noting the respect he has for the command’s wide range of missions.
“This unit and its impact is amazing and I am honored to have served next to each and every one of you,” said Beeson.
McMurdy comes to USACIMT after serving as the Field Artillery School Command Sgt. Maj. at Fort Sill, Okla. Kline said the combination of operational experience and previous time as a drill sergeant is the perfect balance for the USACIMT mission.
“There is no doubt you will find this assignment incredibly rewarding,” proclaimed Kline. “But in addition to the satisfaction that comes with transforming America’s youth into Soldiers and observing families beaming with pride, consider the positive impact you will make at the enterprise level with important initiatives like Holistic Health and Fitness and the evolving Cohesion Assistance Team.”
McMurdy said he previously served on small teams that have an impact that is disproportionate to their size.
“I firmly believe that the Army today is better than the Army that I joined in 1996. Much of that is due to how CIMT has modernized and adapted the way we do holistic fitness, how we bring men and women into our profession, how we define excellence in Soldier fundamentals, and how we build resiliency,” stated McMurdy. “I’m excited to join your team.”
USACIMT is the Army’s proponent for initial entry training, annually transforming over 100,000 civilian volunteers into U.S. Army Soldiers, as well as the Army’s Holistic Health and Fitness System. McMurdy will also assume the responsibility as the Senior Army Element Enlisted Advisor for Fort Eustis and Joint Base Little Creek-Story.