By Mr. Daniel Lafontaine (RDECOM)March 16, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command introduced its new senior noncommissioned officer to the community March 16.
Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert O. Beharie assumed duties as the leader of RDECOM's enlisted Soldiers during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Post Theater. About 150 Soldiers and Army civilian employees welcomed Beharie to RDECOM and APG.
MARIN BIDS FAREWELL
Beharie takes over from Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin. The Army promoted Marin to the rank of command sergeant major in 1999, and he has served as RDECOM's senior NCO since Aug. 5, 2007.
A native of Honduras who moved to New York City at age 10, Marin enlisted in September 1981. He described his journey from a child through his three decades as a Soldier stationed across the globe.
"My journey began a long time ago when I first got to this great country. I felt a sense of duty immediately," Marin said. "I wanted to give back to this nation for what was given to me -- an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity to live free in a democratic country, a place where opportunities to excel are endless, an opportunity to serve and sacrifice for the good of all citizens of this nation. I joined the Army as part of this sense of duty. I wanted to ensure those who came before me who may have lost their lives did not do so in vain.
"As a young boy living in Honduras, I used to chase helicopters down the street. I was very fascinated by that piece of machinery. I always wondered, 'How can something like that hang up in the sky and fly?' So when I entered the United States and began my studies in New York, I had my eyes on becoming an aviator. Through hard work, perseverance and encouragement from family, I managed to meet the qualifications to enter the Army as an aviator. Here I am today."
Marin thanked his fellow NCOs for their efforts to interact with RDECOM's scientists and engineers to ensure the success of the command's mission to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.
"Since my arrival here, I quickly got engaged with our noncommissioned officers to ensure we understood our role in providing our engineers and scientists with relevant feedback to assist with the development of new technology and delivering it to the hands of Warfighters," Marin said. "Our noncommissioned officers have a vital role in making sure that RDECOM is technology driven and always Warfighter focused."
BEHARIE TAKES OVER AS SENIOR NCO
Beharie will lead the command's 80 enlisted Soldiers at its APG headquarters and seven research centers with offices around the world. The command sergeant major serves as the principal adviser to the director in enlisted matters. He is responsible for the training, professional development, retention, readiness and discipline of Soldiers under his charge.
Beharie said he has been impressed by the passion of RDECOM scientists and engineers to support those in uniform.
"I have had some great opportunities to serve over my military career. However, serving as RDECOM sergeant major is a dream job," Beharie said. "This organization and its professional workforce touch the lives of all the men and women in the Armed Forces, as well as our nation.
"Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our labs and meet some of our men and women who work tirelessly to give our troops the fighting edge on the battlefield. I was blown away by the technology that they have developed and are currently working on."
Beharie will report to RDECOM Director Dale Ormond, who replaced Maj. Gen. Nick Justice as the organization's senior leader Feb. 10. Ormond thanked Marin for his dedication to the Army, RDECOM and Soldiers.
"What a terrific story of Command Sergeant Major Marin. [He is] a terrific Soldier and a leader of Soldiers," Ormond said. "He wanted to give back for the opportunities that America gave him. He has connected our scientists and engineers to the Soldiers, communicating with Soldiers and talking to them about what their real issues, challenges and needs are. [He made] sure that was funneled back into us so that we have that connection to what is going on in theater.
"[He made] tremendous personal efforts to stand up the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He helped put in place how we as RDECOM solve materiel [problems] at the point of need."
In one of his first official duties, Beharie will oversee RDECOM's annual Noncomissioned Officer/Soldier of the Year Competition at APG March 26 to 31. Five enlisted Soldiers will compete in a physical fitness test, weapons range, land navigation, obstacle course, 12-mile ruck march, essay and written exam, media interviews, and board appearance.
Beharie has served as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade's command sergeant major at Fort Campbell, Ky., since April 2009. He enlisted in 1986 and has four combat tours in the Persian Gulf.
Beharie and his wife, Sabrina, have three children.