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Bayonet NCO leaders execute battle handoff

7th Infantry Division commanding general

Published: 01:05PM October 17th, 2013
Bayonet NCO leaders execute battle handoff

Staff Sgt. Mark Miranda

Command Sgt. Maj. Del Byers prepares to pass the ceremonial sword to 7th Inf. Div. CG Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, who in turn passed it to incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Murphy during a change of responsibility ceremony Tuesday at 7th Inf. Div. Headquarters.

This week in the 7th Infantry Division, we conducted the transfer of responsibility of the division command sergeant major position. On Tuesday we said farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers and entrusted the discipline and care of the division to Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Murphy. While it is tough to say goodbye to such a tremendous noncommissioned officer like Command Sgt. Maj. Byers, the Army system consistently produces leaders to fill the void as others move on.

Baron Von Steuben, who authored the Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War, wrote that “the choice of noncommissioned officers is an object of greatest importance. The order and discipline of a Regiment depends so much upon their behavior. Honesty, Sobriety, and a remarkable attention to every point of duty, with a neatness in their dress are indispensable requisites.

A spirit to command respect and obedience from the men, to teach it, are also absolutely necessary.”

Von Steuben captured the essence and importance of the noncommissioned officer corps. He claimed that the order and discipline of the unit would depend upon the noncommissioned officers. As the division command sergeant major of the Bayonet Division since our reactivation slightly more than a year ago, Byers’ strong, patient and determined leadership ensure we stayed on a path to success.

Every single day since the reactivation of this great division, Byers and I have worked together. He was essential in helping us build the Bayonet Team. Command Sergeant Major Byers was instrumental as we developed and achieved a vision of professionalism to move the division forward and in working with the brigade command sergeant majors. You can see the outcome of his hard work in our Ranger School program, our Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness systems and our sponsorship initiatives. The United States Army is the best in the world because of its noncommissioned officer corps, which is the backbone of the Army. Sergeants truly are the backbone of the Army. Command Sergeant Major Byers ensured the 7th Inf. Div. noncommissioned officers were a strong and stable backbone around which we could reactivate and build a division.

Byers’ advice and recommendations have been essential to the success we have had in the division over the past year. From the initial establishment of standards and discipline, to the development of systems that made the routine work happen routinely, he provided the strength of character and moral fiber to go along with his technical and tactical expertise to make this division a team-of-teams, a division capable of providing mission command, leading our brigades and taking care of Soldiers and families.

All of us in the Bayonet Division are grateful for Command Sgt. Maj. Byers’ service in the division. We were fortunate to have him as the first division command sergeant major at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Byers and his wife, Catia, will soon leave JBLM for West Point where Byers will become the next command sergeant major of the United States Military Academy. He will make an excellent senior enlisted advisor to Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, the superintendent of West Point, as they work together to develop the next generation of leaders for our Army.

As is the case with every transfer of responsibility, a unit loses a superb sergeant major and the unit gains a superb sergeant major. Many in the JBLM community already know Command Sgt. Maj. Murphy from his time in the 4th Stryker Brigade as the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment command sergeant major and from his time as the 3rd Stryker Brigade command sergeant major. He is a battle-tested leader. I have nothing but complete trust and confidence that he will help lead the Bayonet Division to new heights and move us forward to the next objective.

It is a tremendous time to serve in the 7th Inf. Div. and all of the great Soldiers and Airmen on the greater JBLM team. It has been a challenging, but very rewarding first year in the reactivated Bayonet Division. As long as we keep producing Army leaders like Sgt. Maj. Byers and Command Sgt. Maj. Murphy, we will continue to meet the challenges that are in our future.