Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Foley, assumed responsibility of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Leach, in a change of responsibility ceremony held at Fort Bragg, Sept. 4.

Leach handed off the noncommissioned officer sword to Col. Edward J. O’Neill, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander symbolizing his relinquishment of responsibility. O’Neill then passed it to Foley, symbolizing the entrustment of responsibility.

The passing of the NCO sword is in keeping with Army tradition to show the command sergeant major may change, but the sword remains razor sharp.

Leach, has had a long history with the 108th ADA Brigade. He has served as the First Sergeant., platoon sergeant., and squad leader of Battery D, and team chief of Battery A for 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

“It has been my esteemed honor to serve you all,” Leach said. “Although it was a short time, know that each day, I tried to do what was best for all. From being in this position, one can quickly see why this is the best brigade in the 32nd Army Air Missile Defense Command, and the United States of America. Each day you truly put your ‘deeds above words.’”

Leach also addressed Foley as he relinquished responsibility of the brigade.

“You are the right man at the right time to carry the ‘Spartan’ legacy on,” he said.

O’Neill shared this assessment of Leach. “He (Leach) has demonstrated professional excellence in every regard. I have found that the measure of any great leader is the legacy of Soldiers and leaders he has helped to develop, cultivate and inspire through excellence.

“You have been an inspiration to all of us and we have gained so much as a unit with your leadership, guidance and direction,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill also spoke of the confidence he had in Foley’s ability to serve as his senior enlisted advisor.

“Your selection to help me lead the brigade is not by accident, but is a testament of the Army’s confidence in your leadership skills and genuine concern for the welfare of our Soldiers,” said O’Neill.

Leach’s next assignment will be in Fort Hood, Texas as the command sergeant major for the 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.