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Fort Polk welcomes new Garrison Command Sergeant Major at Assumption of Responsibility

Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen R. Nielson, addresses the audience at his Assumption of...
Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen R. Nielson, addresses the audience at his Assumption of Responsibility Jan. 7.(Source: Kim Reischling/Fort Polk Public Affairs Office)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 11:26 PM CST
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The following was released to us by the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office:

FORT POLK, La. - An Assumption of Responsibility ceremony was held on Jan. 7 at Fort Polk’s Warrior Field as Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen R. Nielson, incoming garrison command sergeant major, assumed his new position at Fort Polk.

The passing of the colors represents the lineage and honor of the unit, as well as the loyalty and unity of its Soldiers. Nielson, as the senior enlisted Soldier in the unit and the principle advisor to the commander, became the new custodian of the colors, while also accepting responsibilities that come with his position.

Col. Samuel P. Smith, Fort Polk garrison commander, passes the colors to Command Sgt. Maj....
Col. Samuel P. Smith, Fort Polk garrison commander, passes the colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen R. Nielson at his Assumption of Responsibility Jan. 7.(Source: Kim Reischling/Fort Polk Public Affairs Office)

Fort Polk Garrison Commander, Col. Samuel P. Smith Jr., welcomed those in attendance and said Fort Polk was lucky to have a great leader like Nielson.

“I have no doubt that your (Nielson’s) leadership, experience, professionalism, competence, counsel and commitment will help us form an effective command team. We are going to rely on him heavily. I anticipate that, together, we will be a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

Smith said the garrison at JRTC and Fort Polk has a dynamic mission full of complexities, challenges and opportunities they would tackle together.

“I’m glad to have you become a part of a professional garrison team that puts our Soldiers, civilians and Family members first,” he said.

Smith told Nielson that he expects nothing but excellence in the coming years.

“The guiding principle of our team will remain people as we strive to treat them with dignity and respect. Together, we will support the installation’s priorities and the values of being inclusive and listening,” he said. “Let’s get to work.”

Nielson thanked everyone for the warm welcome to Fort Polk and for being selected to serve as the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Polk, command sergeant major.

“It is truly an honor and humbling. Not lost on me is the understanding of the level of responsibility that comes with this role. It is my job to ensure the senior commander and garrison commander’s vision, priorities and intent are achieved while simultaneously advocating for Soldiers, Families and our civilian workforce. I look forward to serving them, as well as the surrounding community, as we work together to improve the quality of life here on the installation,” he said.

Nielson said he was joining a talented team.

“I know we can all win by putting people first and remembering that the warfighter is the center of all we do,” he said.

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