As has become a tradition, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command held a retreat and retirement ceremony before the four-day weekend at Panzer Kaserne April 2. Like the retreat in March, the ceremony was dedicated to the Year of the Non-Commissioned Officer. Fittingly, retired Command Sgt. Maj. George Horvath III was the featured guest speaker.
Command Sergeant Major Horvath, whose distinguished career as an NCO spans 32 years and assignments from battalion to major command level, praised the Army’s leadership for declaring 2009 the Year of the NCO.
He considers the focus on the NCO an excellent incentive to reflect on what is expected of today’s NCOs by their Soldiers, officers and peers.
“Soldiering is tough, serious business – hard. This business of ours requires NCOs that are tough, physically fit, mentally strong and agile,” he said.
He spoke of how the NCO Corps provides the Army’s backbone and consequently must set and meet the highest standards.
“Nothing happens in the Army that an NCO is not involved in – nothing. Everything your Soldiers do, there is an NCO involved or darn well should be,” he said. “There is no place in our Army for minimum standard NCOs. We should not tolerate any minimum standard NCOs in our ranks.”
High standards and effective leadership, mission accomplishment and proficiency, however, are impossible to achieve without excellent training.
“Never forget that your Soldiers will not rise to the occasion; they will fall to the level of their training,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, the 21st TSC’s commanding general, officiated during the ceremony and thanked the two retiring Soldiers, Col. Stephen Allen and Master Sgt. Wayne Mackey, for their service to the nation and the Army.
“Today, we will honor two warriors who are preparing to embark on a new life journey and bid farewell to the Army and the many Soldiers, leaders and friends they came to know during their extraordinary careers,” he said.
Colonel Allen is the deputy commander of the 7th Civil Support Command and has served for 30 years.
Master Sergeant Mackey has held numerous leadership positions in the signal and communications field. He retires with 23 years of service.