Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring relinquished responsibility as the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington command sergeant major to Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez in a change of responsibility ceremony in Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Conmy Hall.
Woodring relinquishes JTF-NCR responsibility to Velez
On Monday, Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring relinquished responsibility as the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington command sergeant major to Command Sgt. Maj. Franklin Velez in a change of responsibility ceremony in Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Conmy Hall.
During the ceremony, the JTF-NCR colors were passed from Woodring to Velez. The passing of the colors represents the transfer of authority and responsibility of the unit from one command sergeant major to another, The COR is a simple yet traditional event that is rich with symbolism and heritage, the narrator said during the ceremony.
“The key to the ceremony is the passing of the colors, the very soul of a military unit is symbolized in the colors in which it fights for,” he said. “They represent not only the lineage and honors, but also the loyalty and unit of its service members.”
As the senior enlisted advisor and principle advisor to the commander, Velez becomes the custodian of the colors.
After the colors were passed to the incoming command sergeant major, Maj. Gen. Omar Jones IV, the commanding general of JTF-NCR/MDW, welcomed Velez and his Family to the team. He pointed out that Velez was an infantry Soldier and proven leader.
“He has served and led in every level of our infantry,” Jones said. “His exceptional reputation made him an easy choice to be our next command sergeant major.”
Jones added that the feedback he received about Velez was incredible, he said.
“He was described as a man of action, problem solver, listener, counselor, team builder, a consummate professional and exceptional sounding board,” said Jones. “One of those leaders said, ‘He has earned the universal respect and admiration of all privileged enough to serve with him.’”
When talking about Woodring, Jones said that he epitomized a professional noncommissioned officer. Jones said Woodring knew his team and mission.
“His three years here, our mission has been dynamic as anything I’ve seen in my career,” Jones said. “More than any other senior NCO I have served with Sgt. Maj. Woodring just gets it. He understands the connection between tactical action and strategic offense, and he understands the context in which we operate.
“I’ve relied on his advice on every topic every day for the last two years. Sgt. Maj. Woodring treats everyone with the same dignity and respect and has never changed who he was.”
Woodring said he was asked to describe JTF-NCR/MDW. He replied by saying, the unit is a nontraditional organization made up of unique one of a kind units that do traditional and nontraditional missions sometimes simultaneously.
“It’s amazing what this command along with our agency partners accomplish on a daily basis,” said Woodring.
Woodring was the command sergeant major during a trying time in the nation — the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve often said the most thing I’m proud of is COVID did not stop us,” he said, “we created new ways to accomplish the mission while maintaining the excellence expected of this command.”
One of the final thank you said by Woodring was thanking the garrison commanders in the NCR.
“I know how much you care about the installations and the people who live and work here,” he said. “Sgt. Maj. Velez you are getting a great team (and) you have a great organization.”
While Velez stood at the podium prior to speaking, he admitted to being nervous. Not because he was speaking for the first time as the command sergeant major for JTF-NCR/MDW, but for other reasons, which included assuming the responsibility of the unit.
“Sir, I don’t take it lightly,” he said to Jones. “I’m truly humbled and excited to assume this responsibility.”
Velez thanked Woodring for the smooth transition and for answering the many questions, he asked. He also thanked Jones for the opportunity to serve as his senior enlisted advisor.
“You have given me this great opportunity,” said Velez. “I realized the enormous responsibility that comes with this position. I look forward to serving alongside everyone.”
Joint Force Headquarters – National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington is a dual-hatted command serving as guardians of the nation’s capital. JTF-NCR/MDW is responsible for conducting homeland defense and civil support operations, command and control of Department of Defense support to national special security events, conducts military funeral honors and ceremonial support throughout the nation, supports airlift requirements for U.S. government officials and facilitates national outreach on behalf of the U.S. Army.
Day-to-day the command serves as part of a collaborative, regional team focused on homeland defense and safeguarding the National Capital Region. And, when called upon, the joint force headquarters transitions to a joint task force to support and defend the nation.
Pentagram Editor Catrina Francis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Catrina Francis