FORT SILL, Okla. (Nov. 7, 2023) — In a time-honored military tradition steeped in symbolism and ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. William Taylor officially passed the garrison colors and the responsibility for the United States Army Garrison at Fort Sill to Command Sgt. Maj. William Pearson on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023.
Soldiers, families, and dignitaries attended the ceremony, which took place in front of Taylor Hall, encapsulating the rich heritage and customs that have characterized the Army for more than two centuries.
"The passing of the organizational colors symbolizes the relinquishment of responsibility and authority from the outgoing to the incoming Garrison command sergeant major, which is a significant moment for us all," said Col. Jim Peay, garrison commander. Peay presided over the official party for the day's ceremony that included both Taylor and Pearson.
These proceedings not only serve to preserve tradition but also to enhance the esprit de corps, showcasing the distinguished American noncommissioned officer corps, which Col. Peay described as "the best Noncommissioned Officer Corps in the world today."
During his farewell remarks, Command Sgt. Maj. Taylor reflected on his tenure with appreciation for the leadership and community. "I was blessed with two great Garrison commanders, Colonel Taylor and Colonel P. They made the days enjoyable and really do care about the Fort Sill community," he said. Command Sgt. Maj. Taylor is set to retire later this month, closing out an illustrious career that began in 1998.
Assuming the mantle, Command Sgt. Maj. Pearson expressed his gratitude and commitment. "Thank you for the incredible warm welcome and partnership," Pearson said. "I promise that I’ll do everything within my ability to support the Soldiers, Marines, families, and civilians at Fort Sill and try to grow this incredible friendship of Lawton Fort Sill."
In a special acknowledgment, Col. Peay praised Lauren Taylor, the wife of Command Sgt. Maj. Taylor, for her extraordinary contributions to the community, particularly her role with the Patriot Spouse’s Club. "Lauren broke the glass ceiling as the first non-officer spouse to be the president of the Spouse’s Club," Peay noted. He lauded her for increasing enrollment and involvement, affirming that "our spouses are really the backbone of the community."
The ceremony, while marking a change in leadership, also served as a celebration of service and community spirit, underscoring the integral role families play in the fabric of military life. With the organizational colors now in the hands of Command Sgt. Maj. Pearson, Fort Sill looks to its future while standing firmly rooted in the values and traditions that have long defined it.
To see all the photos from the ceremony go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortsillcannoneer/albums/72177720312409342.