(Left) Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Majeski, the incoming JBM-HH command sergeant major, (center) JBM-HH Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Harris, the outgoing JBM-HH command sergeant major, and (holding colors) Marine Sgt. Maj. Joseph Griffin, the sergeant major of Headquarters and Headquarters Service Battalion on Henderson Hall, practice stand at attention during the change of responsibility ceremony Tuesday in Brucker Hall. During a change of responsibility the colors are passed from the outgoing to the commander and then to the incoming sergeant major. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing was practiced and Griffin held the colors. Photo by Jeffrey Heeney
Harris relinquishes responsibility of JBM-HH to Majeski
Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Majeski assumed the role of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s senior enlisted leader Tuesday during a live stream ceremony at Brucker Hall. Noting the unique circumstances surrounding the change of responsibility, JBM-HH Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples said it was important that the post could host the event virtually for the community.
“Given the extenuating circumstances and gravity of the situation we are currently faced with,” she said, “it was necessary to deliberately carry out the long and proud tradition of formally transferring the responsibility of the senior noncommissioned officer and backbone of this joint base from one great leader to another.”
In his remarks, Majeski thanked the garrison team and installation partners for setting up the virtual event.
“This is not the usual way to conduct a change of responsibility ceremony, but this is proof that the Army really does go rolling along. We adapt to overcome and continue the mission,” he said.
Majeski comes to the installation following an assignment as command sergeant major of the 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, Fort Riley, Kansas, a position previously held by Harris, his predecessor. He noted that coincidence in his remarks to the virtual audience.
“This is the second time I’ve followed Command Sgt. Maj. Harris as a brigade command sergeant major,” said Majeski. “The Fort Riley unit had a great reputation when you left, and I will continue the reputation you’ve built here. (My) goal is to have the same positive impact on JBM-HH history and help make this post the No. 1 choice for Soldiers, Families and civilians to serve.”
In her remarks Peeples noted that while it was bittersweet to farewell Harris and his wife, Vicky, the garrison warmly welcomes the Majeskis.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Majeski is exactly the right leader to help us chart a straight path through the challenging waters ahead,” said Peeples. “He too is the best of the best, handpicked to lead ‘America’s Post.’”
In speaking of her command team member for the past two years, Peeples said that Harris has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for the post’s service members and their Families.
“He worked tirelessly to improve our readiness while never letting us forget who and why we serve,” noted Peeples. “Thank you for always keeping us focused on the power, the engine of this joint base — its people.”
Harris focused his remarks on those people who he said contribute daily to the success of the installation.
“It has been an extraordinary 2 1/2 years, a milestone in my military career, and a time I will never forget,” said Harris. “To Col. Peeples, it’s been an honor to work alongside you and our outstanding command team. I apologize for not naming each and every one of (our military and civilian staff), who contribute immensely to this installation, but I thank you wholeheartedly for there is not success on JBM-HH without you.
“It has been my honor and privilege to be a part of ‘America’s Post’ and I welcome Command Sgt. Maj. Majeski as you begin your journey at this celebrated post steeped in a legacy of history and tradition of excellence that symbolizes the proud heritage of both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps.”
By Alice Swan