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Garrison welcomes new command sergeant major

Command Sgt. Maj. William D. Lohmeyer accepts the NCO Sword from Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, as he assumes responsibility as the garrison command sergeant major during a ceremony June 3 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum as outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland, looks on. (Photo by Jim Hughes)

Command Sgt. Maj. William D. Lohmeyer accepts the NCO Sword from Col. Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker garrison commander, as he assumes responsibility as the garrison command sergeant major during a ceremony June 3 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum as outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland, looks on. (Photo by Jim Hughes)

Published: June 5, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 5, 2014) -- Fort Rucker Soldiers, civilians and Family members turned out in force to welcome the garrison’s new command sergeant major and bid farewell to the outgoing senior NCO June 3 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.

Command Sgt. Maj. William D. Lohmeyer assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland, represented by the ceremonial passing of the NCO Sword, during a change of responsibility ceremony for the garrison.

Col. Stuart J. McRae, garrison commander, hosted the event, adding that it was a significant day for the garrison.

“These two senior NCOs symbolize what distinguishes the U.S. Army  from any other fighting force in the world, a professional NCO Corps that leads by example, trains by experience, knows and enforces standards, takes care of Soldiers – and, in our case, Soldiers, Families and civilians – and adapts to change and successfully accomplishes all missions. Both Command Sergeants Major Noland and Lohmeyer have lived by these high standards throughout their careers, and have had a positive and lasting impact on many Soldiers along the way.”

McRae then spoke about the numerous accomplishments and awards at Fort Rucker on Noland’s 23-month watch, his work taking care of Soldiers, Families and civilians, and his efforts off post to ensure the ties between the post and the local communities remained strong.

And the colonel welcomed Lohmeyer to the Fort Rucker team.

“I have supreme confidence that Command Sergeant Major Lohmeyer will help us expand on the work started by Command Sergeant Major Noland and help us take it to the next level. Sergeant Major Lohmeyer, you are joining a team of teams, committed to excellence and with an excellent track record.”

The newcomer said he appreciated all the help he’s received in making his transition from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to Fort Rucker.

“You have truly made me feel welcome, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you,” he said. “I also want to thank Sergeant Major Noland for taking the last two weeks preparing me for my life as a garrison command sergeant major.

“It was a bit overwhelming, and I felt like I was drinking from a water hose, but I understand why,” he said. “Gene put a lot of time and energy into building something special here in lower Alabama, like setting the conditions for winning the Army Communities of Excellence and too many awards to name. I wish you and your Family the best of luck in your travels and your next assignment – Godspeed.”

He then thanked McRae and said he was looking forward to serving under the colonel’s command.

“I cannot express to you the joy and honor I feel in being selected for this assignment,” he said. “In my entire Army career, the two things that have given me the most satisfaction above all else – serving my country and taking care of Soldiers. I can think of no better place to accomplish that than right here.”

Noland and his Family will move on to an assignment at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., McRae said, adding that the sergeant major will “get back to his roots where he will be working with proponency issues for the Military Police Branch and making the Army a better place.”

“Sergeant major, you’ve been a fantastic battle buddy,” McRae continued. “I’ll never forget the level of personal loyalty that you consistently showed me and the people of Fort Rucker garrison during our time together. Thank you for your service, and I want to wish all the best to you (and his Family) as you set off on the next chapter of your lives.”

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/127444/

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