Dragon Brigade Welcomes new enlisted leader to Osan
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – The command sergeant major of 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Command Sgt. Maj. Jose Villarreal handed off the brigade colors for the last time to the new command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric McCray during a change of responsibility ceremony in the Osan Air Base Enlisted Club, Jan. 27.
Villarreal has spent the last 25 months with 35th ADA Brigade as part of the command team with brigade commander Col. Mark Holler; he will advance to an operational leadership position with Eighth Army in Yongsan.
“This assignment requires you to be ready to fight every night and every day, at any time,” said Villarreal. “This assignment is like being in a big family and I have never been in any other assignment where the relationship between senior leaders has been so great.”
Villarreal offered a personal note of gratitude to Holler.
“To my boss, Col. Holler, you are my brother – we are Family. I have grown and learned a lot from you,” Villarreal said.
Holler spoke about many achievements the brigade earned while under Villarreal’s leadership and emphasized Villarreal’s dedication to Soldiers.
“No one is more dedicated to the mission, and the development of Soldiers and new leaders. He coached, mentored and most importantly, he empowered the junior noncommissioned officers to lead from the front, train hard, care for Soldiers and their Families,” said Holler.
During the awards presentation before the change of responsibility ceremony, Villarreal addressed the Soldiers and Korean Augmentee to U.S. Army Soldiers surrounding him.
“As (Army Chief of Staff) Gen. Milley said in his first letter to the force, ‘Our Soldiers are the crown jewels of our nation.’ You are the greatest Soldiers in our Army and this is the greatest brigade in the military,” said Villarreal. “To the KATUSAs of this brigade, thank you very much for your professionalism and your humble service to your nation.”
Holler addressed McCray as the new senior enlisted advisor and noting they served together earlier in their careers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is also known as ‘the center of the universe.’
Keeping with tradition, McCray kept his introduction short. After thanking Holler for the privilege to serve together again, he made a huge commitment to Holler and the brigade.
“We’re going to make this the new center of the universe,” said McCray.