By Tech. Sgt. Devin L. Fisher, USAF
STUTTGART, Germany, Sept. 25, 2006 – Army Command Sgt. Maj. Mark L. Farley became the sixth U.S. European Command senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony here today. Farley replaced Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Bartelle, who July 17 became the senior noncommissioned officer at Allied Command Operations, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, near Mons, Belgium.
The transfer of responsibility ceremony marked the changing of the guard from "one superb NCO to the next, where you will see no break in the action," Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, EUCOM deputy commander, said. "You will witness a continuation in the improvement of the foxhole because... these two NCOs will continue to work side by side ensuring the well-being of this command is cared for, as well as the continued 'professionalization' of our partners and allies in their endeavor to be better armed forces."
Ward noted there is a "distinguishing feature" that sets the U.S. armed forces apart. He said it has "nothing to do" with the commander or commanding officer, but rather it "has all to do with how our armed forces develops and then places and positions responsibilities on its noncommissioned officers. "Standing here before you ... is the embodiment of all of that."
The EUCOM deputy commander said a great attribute of "our profession that causes our Armed Forces to be the envy of all" is its depth.
"The depth is reflected in the fact that our system produces noncommissioned officers of such quality that as we move on we continue to be blessed with successive senior enlisted leaders equally talented, equally prepared and equally ready to continue in the work of providing the best advice, guidance and leadership to the command," Ward said.
The general described Farley as a soldier, leader and professional. "He represents the very best of what it is the armed forces of the United States of America represents," Ward said, "displaying it in a global way, doing it with passion, and doing it in a way that causes others to know that because he was there things are better."
Farley said he was "proud to join your team and look forward to serving" the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, civilians and their families, as well as our allies and our partners in the EUCOM (area of responsibility)."
Reminding those in attendance that "we are a military at war ... supporting a nation at war," Farley said, "I will do my part to support that mission along with the other missions" of this command.
"I ask for your patience and continued dedication," he continued. "We are a people business, and our people ... that's what it's all about. Be proud about who you are and what you represent."
Farley comes to EUCOM after serving as the command sergeant major of U.S. Army, Pacific, headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. As the EUCOM senior enlisted leader, he serves as the commander's primary adviser on all enlisted matters. He provides oversight for the morale, welfare, training, quality of life and the good order and discipline of more than 100,000 U.S. military personnel and their families serving in 92 countries in Europe, Africa and Eurasia.
Ward said Bartelle is a mentor and an inspiring leader, but most of all he's an "impact player" whom others rally around.
Bartelle concluded his remarks by addressing the EUCOM enlisted force: "Words cannot express my deep appreciation for your selfless service. My only hope is that I represented you well. Thank you for all you do. I look forward to those defining moments in the future and serving together with you to the best of our abilities."
(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Devin L. Fisher is assigned to U.S. European Command Public Affairs.)