Senior NCOs lead the way
CAMP HENRY, KOREA-DAEGU, South Korea -- On a hot, humid summer day in Daegu, the Soldiers of the 19th ESC came out onto Camp Walker Kelly Field and started rehearsing for the upcoming change of command ceremony, which would bid farewell to the previous commanding general of the 19th ESC Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen and welcome the incoming commanding general Brig. Gen. John P. Sullivan.
With Soldiers standing tall in formation behind the guidons representing the subordinate units of the 19th ESC, Command Sgt. Maj. Jose A. Castillo, 19th ESC senior-enlisted advisor, and Sgt. Maj. Anthony Wright, 19th ESC G3 senior-enlisted advisor, took charge of the rehearsal and directed every step of the practice. Other sergeants major on the field coached Soldiers to execute the complicated drill and ceremony sequences without error.
Change of commands, one of the oldest and most prized military customs, marks a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. The ceremony included formalities such as a troop inspection and a pass-and-review, which the majority of young Soldiers, including the officers, standing in formation were unfamiliar with. Thus, Wednesday's rehearsal was a perfect time for the experienced senior-enlisted leaders to rise to the occasion and lead the Soldiers.
"I have a tremendous team of command sergeants major and sergeants major who train from experience," said Castillo, "if they don't have the experience they seek that knowledge through self education, picking up the manuals, doing rehearsals or shadowing others. They go from one end of the spectrum to the other and do it by maintaining the focus on the profession of arms, standards, discipline, customs, courtesies and traditions."
After a hot day of practice, the Soldiers were released to come back for the full dress rehearsal with the generals the next day.