ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Army Sustainment Command's Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen D. Blake was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Illowa Council Eagle Scout recognition dinner held April 20 at the Rock Island Arsenal Heritage Hall.

Blake delivered a captivating speech at "A Gathering of Eagles" dinner that honored 87 new Eagle Scouts to the class of 2010.

Blake's remarks recognized "some great Americans, some individual achievements, and a great community outreach." He noted how "there is an enormous amount of pride in this room."

"My message tonight is about the importance of traditions and the commitment and how these traditions, that may seem so simple are actually so important," said Blake.

"The duty of the command sergeant major is to uphold the traditions of the Army. Traditions start from something good, things that are held true in life, so true that people commit to it and refuse to let it fade. They make it their legacy. They live up to its meaning and purpose and never trade it or ever give it away," he said.

"This applies to every Eagle Scout in this room, the young and the old. What an incredible opportunity to live a life of character, tradition and service," Blake said. "It's all about trust and being committed to something bigger in your life. As you go out into society, to be these Eagle Scouts for life, there's a commitment, there's a tradition and there's sacrifice. You will and must be prepared."

After a roll call of the new Eagle Scouts, 14 scouts in attendance were recognized with coins presented by Blake and Col. James Fly, commander of the RIA Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center.

Eagle Scouts Blake Andrews and Derek Crooks were also recognized for their accomplishments in the projects of the year competition. Eagle Scouts in attendance ranged from the newest members to a scout who held the greatest tenure that dated back to 1936.

The dinner event concluded with all Eagle Scouts pledging their allegiance to the Eagle Oath and a benediction by scout Michael Goodyear.