JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment said farewell to the top noncommissioned officer in the organization March 14 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but are scheduled to follow him once again after he assumes responsibility for the Lancer brigade, April 25.

Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Dotson has spent more than 27 years in the Army, working his way up to become a senior enlisted adviser to one of 27 active duty brigade combat team's in the United States Army.

"At that time when I first joined the Army, I came in to do my three years, get my G.I. Bill to go to college and go back to college," said Dotson.

Dotson joined the Army 1985, and was assigned to 1-17 Inf., the same battalion he mentored and ultimately led into combat in Afghanistan in the spring of 2012.

"My assumption of [1-17 Inf.] at the change of responsibility ceremony, it was like coming home almost," said Dotson. "I wasn't originally supposed to come to this battalion. I asked to come to this battalion [and was] told no. At the last second they switched us. Worked out the best for me; I was happy as heck."

Dotson described his time leading the Buffaloes as a dream come true, something he couldn't have imagined in his wildest dreams.

"I love being with soldiers. When you get to be my age, almost 50, runnin' around with soldiers, and doing [physical training], road marching, taking them into combat, it makes us feel young," said Dotson. "I enjoy teaching, coaching and mentoring, and defending this nation."

"I thought I would be retiring, but now that I've competed and made brigade, I'm going to stay a while longer," added Dotson.

Dotson said goodbye to an organization he started his career with March 14, and very well could have ended his career with, but instead he moves forward to lead the Lancers into the future.

"I've had some great teachers, coachers, mentors, role models, and I always tried to be as good as they were. I hope I've done that with this battalion," said Dotson.

Command sergeant major Jeffery Stone replaced Dotson and assumed responsibility for the buffaloes as the senior teacher, coach and mentor.