By Charmain Z. Brackett, Fort Gordon SignalNovember 18, 2009
Lt. Col. Everett Sharpe's work over the past two years has been unique.
"We were definitely building the airplane while flying," said Sharpe, who relinquished command of the Warrior Transition Battalion to Lt. Col. Edwin Larkin at an Oct. 21 ceremony at Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center's flagpole.
Sharpe's task was no small undertaking. During his two years, he set a staff into place, helped to define the battalion's operating procedures and set up transportation contracts all while transitioning more than 1,000 Soldiers, helping them with pay problems, counseling them and putting them on the path of life after their treatment from service related injuries.
"It had unique challenges," he said. "No two Soldiers come to us with the same concerns."
As such, no two solutions were the same either.
Sharpe thanked Command Sgt. Maj. Lester Williams, who was an invaluable asset to the formation of the battalion.
"He was often a one-man staff and didn't wait to get things done," Sharpe said.
Brig. Gen. W. Bryan Gamble, commanding general of Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center and deputy commanding general of the Southern Regional Medical Command Provisional Readiness, praised Sharpe's efforts.
"He set the standards for all warrior transition units across the country in building the battalion from scratch. No standard previously existed. They've received the best care anywhere," he said.
Succeeding Sharpe is Larkin, who is entering his 28th year with the Army National Guard. His most recent assignment was in Washington where he served as an Army Congressional Fellow and Legislative Liaison Officer.
"You are charged with a great opportunity to serve our nation's heroes," said Gamble.
Larkin said he was ready for the challenge.
"No job could be more important or rewarding than being entrusted with the care of our warriors," said Larkin.
He promised to continue the work Sharpe began and do the utmost for the nation's wounded warriors.
"The world's best warriors will receive the world's best care," he said.