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NEWS | April 15, 2022

U.S. Army South Holds Change of Responsibility

By Spc. Joshua Taeckens and Leanne Thomas

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Army South conducted a change of responsibility ceremony April 15 at McArthur Parade Field as Command Sgt. Maj. Trevor C. Walker relinquished responsibility as U.S. Army South’s Senior Enlisted Advisor to Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald J. Graves.

Maj. Gen. William L. Thigpen, U.S. Army South commanding general, presided over the ceremony where he spoke of Walker’s many accomplishments and welcomed Graves and his family to Fort Sam Houston.

“As we bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Walker and his family today, it is a bittersweet moment,” said Thigpen. “We all know he is the glue that has bound our organization together during the past two years and instrumental in leading it to new heights. His dedication and leadership was critical in an increasingly important area of the world where strength of our partnerships is key to maintaining peace and stability and protecting the American way of life.”

Walker arrived to U.S. Army South in June 2020 with an extensive amount of military expertise. He quickly adapted and found innovative ways to plan, coordinate and execute a series of multi-national senior enlisted engagements with critical partner nation armies, immensely improving the capabilities of their noncommissioned officer corps.

“It is important to note that because of these initiatives, partner nation armies are developing stronger professional noncommissioned officer corps and now significantly increasing their effectiveness,” explained Thigpen. “These advancements are just a few testaments to Command Sgt. Maj. Walker’s passions for strengthening partnerships through noncommissioned officer corps development.”

After Thigpen’s remarks, Walker reflected on the final assignment of his military career.

"Before I step down, I want to thank everyone again from Army South for the dedication and support during my time here,” said Walker. “I am proud that I was able to end my career here and Army South will always be special to me because of it."

With over 32 years of dedicated service to our nation, Walker was also known as an exceptional leader across the command.

“You epitomize everything we expect our NCOs to be,” said Thigpen. “Know that your contributions will continue for many years to come and our Army is better because of you.”

Thigpen continued to convey responsibility from one leader to the other and welcomed Graves and his family.

“Now as we bid farewell to one great leader, the Army always gets it right and replaces that person with another outstanding leader. That is absolutely the case today as we welcome Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald J. Graves and his wife, Anna, to our team.”

Graves, a native of Tipler, Wis., joined the U.S. Army in 1995 and most recently served as the command sergeant major for the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

“I look forward to continuing [Walker’s] great initiatives and efforts to take care of the Army South Soldiers and Families as well as building partner nation relationships and training alongside our Central and South American and our Caribbean partners,” said Graves. “Our mission is vital to our National Security.”

U.S. Army South is the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command and serves as SOUTHCOM’s Joint Force Land Component Command responsible for conducting military operations and promoting security cooperation in Central and South America, and the Caribbean to achieve national objectives.