Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Gregory Kleinholz, outgoing Command Sgt. Maj., left, passes the colors to Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander Col. Joseph Messina at a Relinquishment of Responsibility ceremony at Thurman Auditorium, Jan. 20. Fort Belvoir was his last duty station, as he retired after serving the Army and the country for 29 years.  (Credit: Paul Lara, Fort Belvoir Public Affairs)

Fort Belvoir holds Relinquishment of Responsibility Ceremony

Fort Belvoir held a Relinquishment of Responsibility Ceremony Jan. 20 for the post’s Garrison Command Sergeant Major (CSM), the senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) who advises the garrison commander on all personnel matters.

During the ceremony held at Humphrey Hall’s Thurman Auditorium, Sgt. Maj. Gregory Kleinholz — who had assumed the CSM position at Fort Belvoir six months into the COVID-19 pandemic — passed the flag bearing the garrison’s colors to Garrison Commander Col. Joseph Messina. Messina, in turn, passed the flag to Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hopkins, who has assumed the interim CSM role until a permanent CSM is named.

Besides handling soldier, officer and family readiness issues and civilian employee issues, the CSM interacts regularly with community partners. Last year, Kleinholz assisted Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck and other Army officials in cutting the ribbon for the new Dogue Creek Bridge, which lies just beyond Walker Gate entrance to Fort Belvoir off Mount Vernon Memorial Highway.

Messina, who assumed command of the garrison last August, credited Kleinholz with taking care of families and the overall workforce of 40,000 people who work on Fort Belvoir and the 210,000 people the garrison supports daily.

“Like the NCOs who molded me in my entire career, Sgt. Maj. Kleinholz helped develop me and put me in a better position to lead this garrison,” said Messina.

Kleinholz had an incredible breadth of knowledge about all garrison matters, said Messina, and took a special interest in the renovation of the barracks, ensuring that service members and their families had a comfortable, safe place to live.

In his downtime, Kleinholz enjoyed frequenting the garrison’s golf club and bowling alley — recreational facilities that community members also can access. During his goodbye remarks, he noted that his father too had left the Army back in 1966 after his final post at Fort Belvoir.

“Fort Belvoir is the most strategic, small post I’ve seen in America,” said Kleinholz.

Kleinholz officially will retire from the Army Apr. 30 after 29 years of service and has accepted a civilian job with a financial planning company in Missouri.

The CSM Relinquishment of Responsibility Ceremony can be viewed on Fort Belvoir’s Facebook page.

By Erika Christ

Mount Vernon on the MoVe