by Tammie Moore, Fort Meade Public Affairs 

Command Sgt. Maj. Andre L. Welch accepts the garrison flag from Col. Chris Nyland, U.S. Army Garrison Fort George G. Meade commander, during a change of responsibility ceremony March 3, 2022, at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Accepting the garrison flag means that Welch officially assumes responsibility as the Fort Meade command sergeant major. (U.S. Army photo by Tammie S. Moore)

CSM Welch assumes responsibility at FGGM

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Personnel at U.S. Army Garrison Fort George G. Meade bid farewell to one command sergeant major and welcomed another during a change of responsibility ceremony March 3 at Club Meade.

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael E. Behnkendorf handed the garrison flag off to Col. Chris Nyland, garrison commander, officially relinquishing his responsibility, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andre L. Welch accepted the flag, officially assuming responsibility.

Nyland, who presided over the ceremony, highlighted the two major events that defined Behnkendorf’s tenure: the housing crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also recognized Behnkendorf’s commitment to taking care of the Fort Meade community and the importance of friendship they formed during their time in command together.

“Sergeant major, your leadership helped us weather these storms,” Nyland said. “Thank you for being the ultimate advocate for not just our Soldiers, but for all service members and their families. Thank you for being the consummate standard bearer and a shining example of wh

During his remarks, Behnkendorf thanked many members of the audience and recalled special moments with them before letting the command know he was leaving them in good hands.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Andre Welch has prior experience here and is highly motivated to get started,” he said before closing his comments with, “Liberty Seven signing out.”

Welch enlisted as an Army administrative specialist in 1996. He retrained in 1999 becoming a signal microwave systems operator /maintainer. During his 25 years of service, Welch held many leadership positions at various duty assignments which include serving as a battalion command sergeant major, a training and operations sergeant major, a first sergeant, and a signal operations non-commissioned officer in charge.

“I am energized and motivated to help lead this garrison, and I am prepared to tackle whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission,” said Welch, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “I look forward to working alongside you and continuing to build upon the foundation that you and Command Sgt. Maj. Behnkendorf laid.”

Welch, who deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and to provide humanitarian relief in Central America, also let the command know he is grateful to be part of the team.

“To me building a community takes communication and working together,” said Welch, who holds a Master of Art Degree in leadership studies from the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas. “I look forward to working with you. I’m sure we will be able to accomplish many great things together. I know trust is not given; it is earned. I plan to earn your trust.”