NTC bids farewell to post CSM, hails interim

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In a ceremony here April 30, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers relinquished responsibility of serving as the National Training Center’s senior enlisted advisor to its commanding general, Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin.

Assuming the duties of overseeing the policies, standards, and conduct of all Soldiers serving on Fort Irwin is former NTC Operations Group Command Sgt. Maj. Noe Salinas. He now serves as NTC’s interim command sergeant major.

Travers’ next assignment takes him to Fort Eustis, Va., as the senior enlisted advisor at the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC).

In addressing the more than 200 Soldiers, civilian employees and military family members at a ceremony held at Sandy Basin Community Center, Martin praised Travers, saying, “Steve, you’ve helped guide NTC through a ‘goliath’ transition, a transition from counter-insurgency training to decisive action, [which] we lead the Army with that today.”

“Soldier Readiness and Resiliency – you established the Desert Strong program, created an incredible handbook that stands for resiliency for all installation Soldiers and families,” Martin said. “And for that, we are truly grateful.”

Martin noted how Travers had impacted the NTC: “Soldier morale is high at NTC. Our Soldiers enjoy coming to work each day.”

Martin also thanked Travers’ wife Kathi for her volunteer work at the museum here, for helping raise thousands of dollars for local charities and scholarships, and for being “a superb mentor” for spouses and Fort Irwin’s Family Readiness Groups.

In his farewell speech, Travers thanked NTC subordinate commands and the BOSS program for their work in supporting Fort Irwin Soldiers and families and commented, “Your Soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership. Not good leadership, not OK leadership, not when-nobody’s-looking-leadership, but outstanding leadership … we are all responsible … because that’s where it’s all about.”

Travers, a native of Massachusetts, entered the Army as an Infantryman in 1986 and previously served at Fort Irwin as a task force command sergeant major trainer with Operations Group’s Tarantula Team, and as the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment command sergeant major.

Salinas, a native of Brownsville, Texas, entered that Army as an Infantryman in 1985. His previous non-commissioned officer assignments have taken him to Fork Polk; Camp Casey, Korea; Fort Hood, and; Ledward Barracks and Grafenwoehr in Germany. He deployed to Operation Just Cause, Kosovo, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His military training includes the sniper course, air assault course, battle staff course, drill sergeant course, rappel master course, Bradley master gunner course, basic mountaineering course, and Army combatives level 1-2. 

Salinas’ awards include the Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, six Meritorious Service Medals, six Army Commendation Medals, and seven Army Achievement Medals. He is a member of the Order of Saint Maurice and the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. He has a bachelor of science in business administration from Tuoro International University and is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration.