By Fonda Bock
USAREC Public Affairs
October 17, 2016
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- A former Cleveland Recruiting Battalion command sergeant major is now the top enlisted noncommissioned officer for the Recruiting and Retention School.
Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Multunas took responsibility of the school house from Command Sgt. Maj. James Nicolai during a change of responsibility ceremony here Oct. 14.
Nicolai, who was the first career counselor to be selected as the command sergeant major for the RRS, is retiring after 25 years of service.
Col. Isaac Johnson, RRS commandant, said Nicolai's legacy at the school house will be remembered for years to come.
"What I appreciated the most is your humility," Johnson said. "I can sum up your leadership style with a quote from my favorite book…"Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth." Proverbs 16: 20-21 states, ‘Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be happy. The wise are known for their understanding, and instruction is appreciated if it's well presented.' My sergeant major and brother, you set the standard every day and will be missed by all."
Nicolai expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the CSM for the school house and said he's excited about the future of the RRS.
"I know we're better today than we were several months ago … and I know you'll be a better team six months from now," Nicolai said.
"You're getting better because of the quality of each and every individual on the team and the work ethic you put forth every day to improve our school. You're getting better because you recognize and believe that what you do is never about any one individual, but always about the team and the final product our students take with them when they graduate. … I challenge each of you to strive to meet your full potential."
Nicolai welcomed Multunas to the team, challenging him to take the school to a higher level of proficiency.
"You're gaining an organization that is loaded with first round draft picks," he said. "Trust your leaders and push your NCOs to accomplish things they never would have thought of trying, both individually and collectively."
Multunas said he is truly humbled to be the school house's new command sergeant major.
"It is an absolute honor to be part of an organization that has such a huge impact on the day to day recruiting and retention mission," he said. "I have no doubt the future of this great organization with the professional leaders assigned will continue to excel as an institution of excellence.
"Be proud, be competent, be inspiring, but never be satisfied - it starts here."