Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Brooks assumed responsibilities as the 7th Signal Command (Theater) command sergeant major from CSM Kenneth O. Williams during a ceremony at Alexander Hall Jan. 12.
"Command Sergeant Major Brooks was hand-picked from a select pool of highly talented command sergeants major," said Brig. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, commanding general, 7th SC(T). "He comes with impeccable recommendations from all who have known him and his work."
Brooks is reporting from his previous assignment as the CSM for 2nd Theater Strategic Signal Brigade in Mannheim, Germany.
"This exceptional Army leader gained his experience in a variety of assignments from squad leader, to first sergeant, to S-3 sergeant major, and finally as a command sergeant major," said Patterson. "He is well prepared to take the reigns of a theater signal command."
Patterson described the occasion as "bittersweet" when bidding farewell to Williams.
"Up front, I'll tell you, he was the right person at the right time to fill the command sergeant major position as we stood up this new command," said Patterson. "This Soldier's Soldier ensured that 7th Signal Command got up to speed quickly, by getting involved at every level with his low-key style of personal, hands-on leadership."
He also said that CSM Brooks is the "right man to follow on during the next chapter of our history.
Williams framed his initial impression about being 7th SC(T)'s first CSM as a "piece of cake," but it did not take him long to figure out he was wrong.
"We spent a lot of time [in the beginning] developing processes and procedures, traveling and taking red eye flights, while building relationships with senior mission partners throughout the theater," he said. "Tough."
After welcoming and thanking a list of friends, mentors, and family, Williams put the focus on his family.
"This has been a very special morning," he said. "I have here with me my family, and it does not get any better than this."
Brooks on behalf of himself and wife, Pam, thanked Patterson for his trust and confidence and the privilege to serve the command. He then focused on his retiring colleague, Williams.
"You've always held the fort down, you are the true Soldier, and I thank you," he said.
To close his remarks, Brooks included a quote from John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, in praising Williams' leadership.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, to learn more, to do more, you are a leader; you are certainly a leader."
Following the ceremony, CSM Williams, along with his family, friends, past associates, Soldiers and coworkers, celebrated his career and accomplishments during a luncheon at the post's Gordon Club.
Maj. Gen. Jennifer L. Napper, commanding general, Network Enterprise Technology Command, presented Williams with the Legion of Merit Medal, and a variety of retirement certificates and accolades to him and his wife, Sibylle, for their service to the Army and the Nation.
In a toast, the Williams family thanked the luncheon guests and families.
"God bless you, your families and the Soldiers that continue to protect our freedoms."
Brooks is 7th SC(T)'s second CSM since the command was reactivated in 2008.
Williams is retiring after 34 years of service to the Army.