By Jason B. CutshawMay 21, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y - Soldiers and community members of 10th Mountain Division (LI) gave a warm North Country welcome May 14 to their newest leader.
Fort Drum hosted a change of responsibility ceremony as the duties of 10th Mountain Division (LI) command sergeant major passed from Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth E. Patton to Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher K. Greca.
"For a noncommissioned officer, there is no greater honor to be given than the responsibility of a command sergeant major," said Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander. "To rise through the ranks to the level of being a division command sergeant major is an accomplishment that only a very few attain; you truly represent the best of the best.
"These positions are not given lightly, but earned through proven performance and demonstrated potential," he added. "The responsibility is an awesome one, and, as anyone who has achieved this level of responsibility can tell you, there is nothing like it."
As he spoke, Terry recognized Patton for his time as the division's senior enlisted adviser and thanked him as Patton continues to serve as 10th Combat Aviation Brigade's command sergeant major.
Patton assumed the position as division command sergeant major in March after Division Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Redmore retired. Patton held the office until Greca could transfer to Fort Drum from his position as Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La., command sergeant major.
"Command Sergeant Major Patton, your dedicated and selfless service is a model for all Soldiers," Terry said. "You stepped into the breach quickly. In your time as the division command sergeant major, you have shouldered the weight of these responsibilities with professionalism and pride, and I cannot thank you enough for the support and counsel you have provided to me."
As he talked about the responsibilities of leaders in the military, Terry said comfort and continuity during periods of change and transition is found in the quality of leadership in noncommissioned officers, the backbone of the Army.
"And so it is today, that one great noncommissioned officer passes the mantle of responsibility to another great noncommissioned officer," Terry said. "Our noncommissioned officers are the standard bearers of our Army. Training, leading and mentoring Soldiers and Families ... that is your charge.
"I know you will succeed beyond any expectations, and I look forward to having you by my side as my 'Mountain Buddy,'" Terry told Greca. "I wish you all the satisfaction and pride that comes with the solemn responsibility this position holds. The Soldiers and Families of the 10th Mountain Division will be well-served - of that I am certain."
After Terry spoke, Patton thanked the general and welcomed Greca to the Fort Drum community.
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to serve. It has truly been an honor," Patton said to Terry. "To Command Sergeant Major Greca, I can't say enough good things. You have the best division in the Army, bar none. Good luck to you."
After Patton concluded his remarks, Greca thanked the commanding general for the chance to serve and pledged to do his best as the division's top enlisted Soldier.
"I want to thank (Maj.) General Terry for this opportunity to serve the Soldiers and Family Members of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum. What a humbling opportunity," Greca said. "Sir, I pledge to you to be the senior role model for this organization from the noncommissioned officers' side.
"(I) and the other noncommissioned officers across this installation will serve to ensure that our Soldiers are prepared and to ensure that our Family Members are taken care of," he added. "One of my jobs is to understand (Maj.) General Terry's intent and what he expects from me and the other noncommissioned officers across the installation, and I look forward to the challenges ahead."