On June 28, Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, observed the traditional passing of the Noncommissioned Officer Saber from one command sergeant major to another. In the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, NETCOM commanding general, symbolically passed the responsibility of the senior enlisted position from Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Williams to Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Allen.
“The past three and a half years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as command sergeant major for this great organization,” Williams said. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve with three fantastic – absolutely phenomenal – general officers. All of them were equally dedicated and charged to make a difference during their watch.”
Williams went on to thank each of the commanding generals he worked with for bringing him onto the team and keeping him around.
“It’s not always a ‘given’ when a new commander comes to town,” Williams said. “That commander has to also accept that noncommissioned officer for what his intent and mission is for that organization; and know and feel comfortable that I’m going to provide the support they need in order to accomplish their mission.”
“It takes a unique leader to provide senior leadership and mentorship across the nation and around the globe,” Lynn said. “Command Sergeant Major Williams … he made that look easy.”
Lynn was highly complementary on Williams’ time as the command’s senior enlisted Soldier. Williams was lauded for his support of a number of programs to promote the welfare of the workforce, enabling the command to be the Army’s top command in retention for three years straight, for having a runner-up in the Army’s Best Warrior Competition for three years straight and for establishing the first Sgt. Audie Murphy Club in NETCOM.
“Command Sergeant Major Williams has been instrumental in the development, training and professionalism of the NETCOM noncommissioned officers and Soldiers,” Lynn said.
Lynn has known Williams for a number of years, including tours in the combat zones.
“Everyone in combat brings their A-game,” Lynn said. “Command Sergeant Major Williams always brought an A-plus game. He knows of no other way to be – in combat or in peace. He is literally the best at being the outstanding leader to which Soldiers are entitled.”
Allen’s arrives in the command after his most recent assignment as the command sergeant major of the 11th Signal Brigade. Allen has held numerous positions as a noncommissioned officer, in a multitude of locations, in South Korea, Germany, the United States and Southwest Asia.
“Major General Lynn – Thank you for trusting and giving me an opportunity to become a member of your team,” Allen said. “You can expect nothing less than 100-percent dedication, commitment, trust and loyalty from me. “
Allen had special words and thanks for Williams, with whom he has a professional and personal relationship.
“To Command Sergeant Major Williams – you are the epitome of a NCO,” Allen said. “You are a mentor to Soldiers, civilians and Family members alike. You have, without question, been a blessing to my Family, and we want to personally thank you for all you have done for Team Allen.”
Williams is preparing for retirement, and his retirement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 1. He plans to retire near Fort Bragg, N.C.