By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor:
(El Paso, Texas, July.27, 2017)
The 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Gerardo Dominguez and his family and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen A. Burnley and his family during a change of responsibility ceremony at Memorial Circle here July 14.
During the ceremony, Dominguez and Burnley passed the noncommissioned officer sword, which signifies the passing of the history, traditions and accomplishments of the unit from the outgoing command sergeant major to the incoming.
Brig. Gen. Christopher L. Spillman, commander, 32nd AAMDC, facilitated the passing of the sword, and afterward thanked Dominguez and welcomed Burnley.
“I’ve seen (Dominguez’s) impact firsthand,” Spillman said. “His thoughtful, mature and seasoned judgment has been absolutely invaluable to me. Without a doubt, this command would not be where it is today without Command Sgt. Maj. Dominguez’s leadership.”
Dominguez will spend the next year pursuing a master’s degree in adult education through Pennsylvania State University at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy here, and after he graduates he will teach at the academy for three years, Spillman said.
Spillman congratulated Burnley on taking on the responsibilities of being the command’s sergeant major.
“Professionally, I am eager to work with you as we continue to build and sustain readiness and provide our Army with highly trained units and Soldiers who are well prepared to execute vital air and missile missions around the globe,” Spillman said.
Burnley comes to the command from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he was the command sergeant major.
Dominguez thanked Spillman and several other Soldiers who helped him as command sergeant major, and said he looks forward to going to school and undertaking his new “GRF” mission at home.
“Nope, not the Global Response Force I spoke about earlier, but the GRF home duties,” Dominguez said. “G: Take out the garbage. R: Relax watching the mandatory Lifetime evening news. And F: Go outside and feed the horses and the dog and the cat. Got it.”
Dominguez also introduced an exercise that could become a tradition at future ceremonies – the passing of the 32nd AAMDC command sergeant major BlackBerry.
“It is never official until I transfer the BlackBerry to his hand, so as I walk over I’m going to put this right in your hand. I hope it doesn’t ring during your speech,” Dominguez told Burnley from the podium.
After the transfer of the device, Burnley thanked Spillman for expressing confidence in him and allowing him the opportunity to serve the command’s Soldiers and families.
“It is always a privilege to lead, and I know that,” Burnley said. “My family and I have a wealth of experiences and we look forward to what lies ahead.”