Story and photo by Heather J. Hagan
FORT VANCOUVER, Wash. – The overcast morning was a typical day in Wash., but the clouds cleared just in time for several to witness Portland Battalion’s 24th Change of Responsibility Ceremony on August 12 at Ft. Vancouver, Wash.
Community members, Soldiers, family and friends of the U.S. Army Recruiting Portland Battalion gathered on the parade field Friday to say farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Crow and welcome incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome DeJean.
For DeJean, his duties are clear. “I will visualize and conceptualize every mission with a clear and distinct purpose and understanding of decisive and excellent execution” said DeJean, “while simultaneously ensuring the welfare of Soldiers and civilians remain paramount, equally solidified and consistent in all of my actions.”
DeJean has served in the Military for more than 31 years in nearly every leadership position in the Army Recruiting Career Field as a recruiter, station commander, guidance counselor, senior guidance counselor, 1st Sgt., master trainer and assistant inspector general. His Military Occupational Specialty includes 12 Bravo Combat Engineer, 19 Delta Cavalry Scout and 79 Romeo Recruiter. His last assignment was Operations Sgt. Maj. for the 2nd Army Recruiting Brigade.
The official Change of Responsibility is a time-honored Military tradition with the passing of a sword. Adopted by the war department the functional weapon is not intended for display, but rather for hard and dedicated use. Soldiers wore it for more than 70 years during the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
The passing of the sword signifies Command Sgt. Maj. Crow letting go of responsibility and authority of the Portland Battalion to the incoming Command Sgt. Maj. DeJean. A Command Sgt. Maj. may come and go, but the sword remains razor sharp symbolizing dedication to and continuity to the Soldiers of the battalion.
Crow said his farewell recognizing the battalion through all their achievements. “All those NCO’s standing before you did it,” said Crow. “They deserve the credit.”