Col. Douglas C. Van Weelden III, ATSCOM and 164th TAOG commander, passes the NCO sword to Command Sgt. Maj. Jason J. Palfreeman, ATSCOM command sergeant major, as he assumes responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Mitchell during a change of responsibility ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Sept. 12. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Col. Douglas C. Van Weelden III, ATSCOM and 164th TAOG commander, passes the NCO sword to Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn L. Jones, 164th TAOG command sergeant major, as he assumes responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: September 18, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 18, 2014) -- As the NCO sword was passed from one command sergeant major to the next, the Air Traffic Services Command and 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group welcomed new leaders to their ranks.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jason J. Palfreeman, ATSCOM command sergeant major, assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Mitchell, and Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn L. Jones, 164th TAOG command sergeant major, assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano, during a change of responsibility ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Sept. 12.
Col. Douglas C. Van Weelden III, ATSCOM and 164th TAOG commander, presided over the ceremony and expressed his faith in the new command sergeants major, as well as bidding a fond farewell to their predecessors.
“Today we honor and recognize the service and contributions of these dedicated noncommissioned officers who share a combined 114 years of active service to our nation,” said Van Weelden of the senior NCOs during the ceremony. “The change of responsibility ceremony is unique and marks that point in time when responsibility is bestowed upon a senior noncommissioned officer of an organization … and while our hearts are heavy at the departure of these two great NCOs and Americans, the Army has seen fit and selected two proven leaders to follow in their wake.”
Palfreeman comes into his position from serving as the battalion command sergeant major for 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment. He is a proven leader with more than 25 years of enlisted service and has held positions ranging from duty positions, such as communication maintainer, flight operations specialist and drill sergeant, and held leadership positions from squad leader to command sergeant major.
He has also served in multiple deployments, including Operation Desert Shield and Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
“I stand before you humbled, knowing that the only reason I’m here today is due to the hard work of the mentors, leaders, peers and subordinates that I have served with over the last 25 years,” said Palfreeman during the ceremony. “Lisa and I look forward to joining you (Van Weelden) in serving the Soldiers, civilians and Family members of ATSCOM.”
Jones comes to Fort Rucker from his most recent position as the Army Air Operations Group command sergeant major in the Military District of Washington, D.C., at Fort McNair.
He is also a proven leader with nearly 28 years of service in a variety of notable positions through his career, including special skills NCO, chief instructor for the Pathfinder Course at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to his most recent assignments as command sergeant major.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this time honored change of responsibility,” said Jones during the ceremony. “Liz and I look forward to joining the Van Weelden team. Colonel Van Weelden, I look forward to advising and assisting you, and being a leader.”
Both Palfreeman and Jones thanked their predecessors for their guidance and mentorship they provided through the transition process, and promised to uphold their duties to the best of their abilities.
Mitchell will retire after an almost 30-year career, and plans to settle with his wife, Bernadette, in the Huntsville area.
Soriano departs after 31 years of service to the nation and will also retire, and plans to reside with his wife, Dawn, in Iowa.
“Change is surely the one constant in our world,” said Van Weelden. “Change can be disruptive, it can be unsettling and downright scary, but leadership provides the firm underlayment and guardrails that take us boldly and successfully into the future. Thankfully we have and are blessed with great leadership in these two organizations with magnificent noncommissioned officers.”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/133972/
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