FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - The 8th Special Troops Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, senior enlisted leader Command Sgt. Maj. Jasmine Young handed off the unit colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Gene Orr Jr. during a change of responsibility ceremony at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, Oct. 05, 2023.
Young assumed the role as the 8th STB Command Sergeant Major in the fall of 2021 and guided the organization through COVID-19, and Operation Pathways exercises across six countries.
During Young’s remarks, she thanked her distinguished guests, and commented on how her and former 8th STB Commander Lt. Col. Christian Newton worked together after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted to bring the unit back to steady operations.
“It is truly an honor and privilege to be standing here, and to have served as the battalion command sergeant major for the 8th STB,” said Young. “It is bittersweet for me to leave a unit that I hold so dear, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was proud to be your command sergeant major.
Lt. Col. Pedro Fernandez, Commander of the 8th Special Troops Battalion, took the time to thank all that attended. He highlighted her leadership and how she always prioritized taking care of Soldiers.
“Jasmine is a true servant leader,” said Fernandez. “That by definition is a leadership philosophy built on the belief that the most effective leaders strive to serve others, rather than accrue power and take control.”
Fernandez then took the opportunity to welcome Orr to the team.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Orr is already a proven leader,” said Fernandez. “I have seen that you are ready and eager to get to work. I look forward to work and learn from you. I know you will take the Ready Battalion to the next level.”
Orr comes to Hawaii from 2nd Infantry/Republic of Korea Combined Division, Camp Humphreys, Korea, where he served as the General Staff Personnel, Command Staff Personnel Sergeant Major.
Orr acknowledged his family and thanked the crowd in attendance.
“Lt. Col. Fernandez, I’m grateful to join the Ready Team, together we will be the command team that other leaders trust, and soldiers need,” said Orr. “Command Sgt. Maj. Young, we have known each other since 2008, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for your professionalism and friendship throughout the years, and such a meaningful transition.”
Orr then directed his attention to his formation.
“The most powerful leadership I can bring you is my own personal example, I will be that example,” said Orr. “I will do my best to lead from the front.
The passing of the unit colors is a time honored tradition that represents not only the heritage and history of the unit, but also the unity and loyalty of its Soldiers. The custodian of the colors is the command sergeant major as the senior enlisted advisor to the commander.