The ‘Heart of the Branch bids farewell to top NCO
Col. Tony Dedmond, commanding officer, 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, presented the brigade's outgoing senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa Calvo, with a Certificate of Retirement, for her 27 years of service to the Army and Soldiers. (Photo Credit: Monica Wood) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Okla. (June 2, 202) — The 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, the Heart of the Branch, bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Melissa Calvo during a relinquishment of responsibility and retirement ceremony June 2, 2023, at Fort Sill’s Old Post Quadrangle.

Col. Tony Dedmond, commanding officer, 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, spoke at the event. In his remarks, Dedmond commended Calvo for her stellar contribution to the Brigade and the Army.

“I'm up here to tell you that no Soldier in the history of our branch has done it like Command Sgt. Maj. Calvo,” said Dedmond. “She came in as 16 Tango. That's a patriot launcher crew member. She impressed her leadership to the point where they nominated her to become a drill sergeant. She dominated drill sergeant school and then, while on the trail, she became the first female in our branch to achieve the honor of Drill Sergeant. of the Year ever. She dominated both in leadership, but also in tactics, earning the coveted Patriot Master Gunner qualification.”

During a career that spanned 27 years, Calvo was assigned to many posts throughout the Army, however it was her time at Fort Sill and the relationships she made here that she chose to reflect on during the ceremony.

“I have been in this wonderful position since November of 2020, and I can tell you, the heart of the branch is such a fitting motto,” said Calvo. “I truly enjoyed working with each and every one of you, and I am so very proud of this team and your dedication to mission success and taking care of Soldiers. One thing that really made this assignment memorable was the relationships between the brigade command teams — I've never seen anything like it.”

Calvo has served in every leadership position from section chief to brigade command sergeant major. During her tenure in the Army, Calvo has received many awards and decorations including 2003 Drill Sergeant of the Year, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Overseas Service Ribbon.

See more photos of the ceremony at Fort Sill's official Flickr page.