NATICK, Mass. -- On March 13, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC) held a change of responsibility ceremony where Sgt. Maj. Thomas Coleman relinquished his duties as NSSC sergeant major to Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard C. McPherson.
Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, commanding general, NSSC, and host for the event, said it was "a great day and a sad day," as McPherson was welcomed and Coleman departed.
He continued that it was fitting that the ceremony was being held in 2009, because the Army has declared 2009, "The Year of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO)."
These are two remarkable Soldiers who exemplify the courage, confidence and competence we see in NCOs, Fuller emphasized. "You are seeing the best of the NCO Corps."
Coleman thanked God, his family, and the great team of people he had the opportunity to work with while serving as NSSC sergeant major.
"I want to thank every person on the installation, those in a lab, in a shop," he stated. "I appreciate your efforts to make our Warfighter the most lethal."
He described members of the NSSC as similar to members of a Warfighter's family. "You want to make them better, more successful."
The efforts made back here at Natick are truly impressive on the battlefield. One example Coleman described was seeing a Soldier get shot, fall down, and be able to jump back up and return fire at the enemy. Although the battlefields may be distant, your work is relevant.
Mentioning NSSC's various organizations, from research and development to the product managers and the Integrated Logistics Support Center, Coleman said the personnel take pride in what they do and they all have a positive impact. He commented he has seen the relationships between the organizations grow stronger and stronger during his two years at the NSSC.
Also speaking about the Year of the NCO, Coleman recommended the work force tap into the NCOs who work at the NSSC. Take the time to stop them and ask them questions. "If you don't, you are missing a great opportunity."
Thanking his family again, Coleman said he couldn't put into words how proud he is of them.
McPherson remarked he is "deeply honored and privileged" to become a member of the NSSC team.
He thanked Fuller for having the ceremony, saying it showed support for Army tradition and for the NCO Corps.
Telling the audience that he had recently been in Iraq, he said, "I've seen the lifesaving equipment that you design and develop. On behalf of our Soldiers, thank you. They won't ever know your names, but they appreciate the impact you make."
McPherson will also be the command sergeant major for the Program Executive Office Soldier.