Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commander, places a ribbon around the neck of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian, during a ceremony inducting the former post senior enlisted advisor into the installation’s Hall of Fame, July 28. Christian also served as U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy commandant. (Photo by Emily Hileman)

Jackson institution becomes permanent fixture at HQ

By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

One of the most visible drill sergeants in Fort Jackson’s history became a permanent fixture in the post headquarters building years after he retired at the post’s senior enlisted advisor.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian was officially enshrined into the post’s hall of fame, July 28. He was the third to be enshrined this year as Karen Soule and Jackie Ortiz were given the honor, June 8.

“Our Hall of Fame is for those that have sacrificed; those that have accomplished; and those that continue to influence the community,” said Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commander, during the ceremony.

“Christian is someone who absolutely has sacrificed; who absolutely has accomplished; and someone who continues to influence. We (have all benefited from) what this amazing leader has done.”

Kelly added there are things happening on Fort Jackson because of Christian’s vision.

Christian was an institution of Fort Jackson. He was commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy when it officially changed names from the Army Drill Sergeant School; and the senior enlisted advisor for 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment.

Today, he is the director of the Warrior PATHH program at the Big Red Barn Retreat. The program is a mental resiliency program for veterans and first responders.

“I am trying to figure out how to incorporate some of the great work he is doing now … with our resilience efforts here on Fort Jackson,” Kelly said during his introduction of Christian.

I look forward to seeing the hall of fame photos up on the wall in the post headquarters, Kelly added. “I get to see giants from this community – folks that make me want to do a little bit better – and to have his photo on that wall as I make rounds in the headquarters.”

“I have received a lot of accolades, rewards and awards during my tenure,” in the Army, Christian said.

Christian was inducted into the Drill Sergeant Hall of Fame in 2017. His picture from the Army’s Can You Make the Cut campaign was selected as one of the photos used to wrapped U.S. Army Recruiting Command marketing trailers. He also wrote multiple cadences as a drill sergeant leader, one of which was incorporated into a popular sports drink commercial.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is prestigious, has its honors and saying thank you is not enough.” Christian said.

He credited those he worked with and those who continue to serve as reasons for his induction.

“It is because of you that I am being recognized for your efforts, your attitude and your belief in yourself,” he added. “Because I would not have been able to accomplish the very few things that (Brig.) Gen. Kelly was able to speak about without your help … So, I have to say thank you to you all, for your efforts, for being here tonight and continuing to do what you’re doing to be better.”