REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – What may have appeared to many as a symbolic gesture was much more than that, said the Army’s senior logistician and commander of Army Materiel Command.
Gen. Gus Perna hosted a change of responsibility for AMC’s senior enlisted leader in a formal ceremony that transferred responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. James K. Sims to Command Sgt. Maj. Rodger Mansker at the AMC parade field March 17.
“This [ceremony] is about who is responsible for the colors of the command,” said Perna. “He who holds them, holds our command together. Without them the command would fail -- this is not a routine.”
And for three and a half years, Sims has carried that responsibility.
“As a life-long sustainer, his understanding of the organic industrial base and global logistics has played a vital role in our ability to identify risks and solve problems. He equipped General Via and then me with a wealth of information and wise counsel. Command Sergeant Major [Sims], you will be missed.”
Sims has served in uniform for 33 years, and 13 of those years were as a command sergeant major.
“Throughout his career, he has always been an example of what right looks like,” said Perna.
Reflecting on his time at AMC, Sims said that it was the people who made him successful.
“Today is not about me; it’s about the Command Sergeant Major of Army Materiel Command -- the position,” said Sims. “Success in a unit is not about the talent of the individuals. If I was successful as the AMC Command Sergeant Major, it was only due to the individual strengths and talents of the people throughout the entire command.”
And despite uncertainty in the world, Sims says, “AMC will continue to do what AMC does best, and that’s support the warfighter.”
Sims will retire in a ceremony in April at Fort Lee, Virginia.
Introducing the new command sergeant major to the command, Perna said, “We are gaining a very experienced command sergeant major.”
“Command Sergeant Major Mansker has held many sustainment and leadership positions in the past,” said Perna. “From his initial service as a heavy wheeled vehicle mechanic in a maintenance company to serving as the command sergeant major in three separate brigades, he brings depth and experience that will help us move forward.”
Mansker’s previous duty assignment was as the Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Chief of Staff-G4 Sergeant Major. Prior to that, Mansker served as the command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.
After 31 years of service, Mansker says he’s still a soldier and left the audience with two points dear to him -- respect and leadership.
“You have my respect because of what you do for our country, and my pledge to you is that I will gain your respect. Respect is not gained by rank or position alone. Respect is gained through actions,” said Mansker. “My second point is leadership. Leaders should never forget where they came from. We all grow, but you can never leave the person that is working for you behind. It’s your job to develop them, make sure they are informed and make sure they are ready to take the baton when you are not there -- that is leadership.”
As the 16th command sergeant major of Army Materiel Command, he also promised the workforce that his door would always be open and that he would always give candid advice.