FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — The 111th Military Intelligence Brigade held its change of responsibility ceremony April 21. Command Sgt. Maj. Lance R. Kachermeyer assumed responsibility of the Phoenix Brigade from Command Sgt. Maj. John D. Eldredge, during the ceremony on Brown Parade Field.
Col. Brendon Dever, commander of the 111th MI BDE, presided over the ceremony. During his speech, Dever said that in the long line of transitions that have taken place at Brown Parade Field over the years, this transition was meaningful to him professionally and personally.
“Leadership at any level can get lonely … but having a wingman, a battle buddy, a partner to be able to share challenges, frustrations, candid assessments, as well as the joys and successes, is critical,” he said. “When I reflected on the last 10 months that I have been in command, I realized that I have been very fortunate to have that in Command Sgt. Maj. Eldredge.”
The 111th MI BDE is the largest military intelligence brigade in the Army and trains the Army’s intelligence Soldiers from Private to Colonel.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Eldredge has helped guide and shape the brigade with a steady hand for 30 months,” he said. “During that time, the brigade has graduated 19,773 students from 44 courses. Even in ideal conditions that is a tall task. With a responsibility for thousands, Command Sgt. Maj. Eldredge always found time to focus on the one.”
Eldredge, surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues, said he pondered what to say as he handed over the reins of the brigade to Kachermeyer. He recounted a story about his love of baseball and how Lou Gehrig uttered the famous words at a home plate ceremony at Yankee Stadium, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth”.
“As I have reflected about the past 30 months as the brigade CSM and 25 years as a Soldier, I am beginning to understand how he might have felt,” Eldredge said. “Knowing the thing he loved most was no longer a possibility, and unsure of his future, he still considered himself the luckiest man alive.”
Eldredge said commanding in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command is not easy, but he thanked the brigade and battalion commanders, as well as the military, civilian and contractor personnel that he was privileged to work with while leading the brigade.
“Thank you for seeking, receiving, and giving advice. Your ability to give and receive mentorship was a true blessing and speaks volumes about your character,” he said. “Thank you for your loyalty to myself, the 111th and most importantly your Soldiers.”
Eldredge said that while he enjoyed having the opportunity to reminisce about the past, today’s ceremony was about the future as it marked a time of transition for the brigade.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Kachermeyer, I know that the future of the 111th will not be missed because of the caliber of Soldiers and leaders that stand in your formation,” Eldredge said.
Kachermeyer thanked Eldredge for the warm welcome to the Phoenix Brigade and quick onboarding, and said Eldredge had provided him with a blueprint for success and a culture to emulate.
“You have left big shoes to fill,” he said. “Command Sgt. Maj. Eldredge’s leadership has been extraordinary, and I am hopeful I can fall in on his footsteps quickly. It is a great honor and privilege to serve on the edge of the frontier at Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista.”
For more photos of the change of responsibility ceremony, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/us_army_fort_huachuca/albums/72177720307672151