200626-A-ZN169-061.jpgBrig. Gen. Milford H. ‘Beags’ Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander, passes the post colors to Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier during a change of responsbility ceremony at the Solomon Center June 26. Tavernier took responsibility for the installation from Command Sgt. Maj. Jerimiah Gan. (Photo by Robert Timmons)

By Alexandra Shea

Fort Jackson Leader

The Fort Jackson community welcomed Post Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavenier and bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Jerimiah Gan in a June 26 change of responsibility ceremony at the Solomon Center. 

“Some of you are here because you are required to be, some are here because they want to be, and some are here because there’s no tellin’ what might come out of my mouth and you wanted a front row seat,” Gan said with a chuckle. “You’re my kind of people.”

Gan passed the post colors to Brig. Gen. Milford H. 'Beags' Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander, as his final act as Post Command Sergeant Major.Gan passed the post colors to Brig. Gen. Milford H. 'Beags' Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander, as his final act as Post Command Sergeant Major. While the ceremony showcased stoic faces and cheerful music, Gan took a moment to compose himself as he reflected on his past few years at the premiere training post during his remarks.

“What an honor,” Gan said of learning he would be assigned to Fort Jackson. “I learned that some of the best damn leaders are found right here at Fort Jackson. I fell in love with this state, the community, the friends I have made and all the civilians and leaders I have had the privilege of working with.”

Gan explained how he could not fit the individual names of everyone he wanted to thank for their support and friendship during his time and commented how he would be taking much of what he had learned here with him, including a beautiful flower.

“I was up in the mountains and I spotted one of the most beautiful wildflowers I’d ever seen. What do you do when you see such a wildflower? Well, you pluck it and take it with you,” Gan said of his wife Autumn, who he met while stationed in the Palmetto State. 

Beagle took time to address Gan’s mother who was tuning into the live stream. 

“Debbie is our biggest fan on Twitter and on Facebook,” Beagle said as Gan nodded his head in agreement. “She is always there. So I thank you very much mom for what you do to be our number one fan.”

“Today is bittersweet,” Beagle continued. “We assemble teams to build teams. We replace one great leader with another and our Army keeps rolling along … that’s what we do. It took me three days to write my speech and it’s not going to be the Pulitzer prize winner I want it to be but it’s been hard to write about my Ranger buddy of the past two years that will truly convey the impact he has had on Fort Jackson and how he has changed lives.”

Beagle spoke of Gan’s passion for helping Soldiers and how “can’t” wasn’t a permanent word in his vocabulary.  

“If he says you can’t, he doesn’t mean you won’t,” Beagle said. “He simply means you may need a little bit of help and he is there to give you that help.”

“You know my words can’t bring you justice. I appreciate you and love you like a brother and I have valued our time here,” Beagle said in closing. “As we close one chapter, we open another. We welcome Command Sgt. Maj. Tavernier and his Family to South Carolina and Fort Jackson. I look forward to having you as my new Ranger buddy and help build this great team and leaders.”

Tavernier took the podium to give his first address as the 26th Post Command Sergeant Major.

“I am truly humbled to become a member of this great team,” Tavernier said. “I would like to say a special thank you to my lovely wife SueAnn for all your unconditional support and sacrifice as I continue on with what I am extremely passionate about … leading and training Soldiers.”

The ceremony came to close with the singing of “The Army Song” and Tavernier performing his first duty by retiring the colors. As the announcement of the end of the ceremony, those in attendance, who wore cloth face coverings throughout the ceremony, moved forward to wish Gan and Tavernier farewell and welcome with elbow bumps and foot taps.