This morning Command Sgt. Maj. Eric R. McCray became the command sgt. maj. for Fort Bragg Garrison during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Soldier Support Center’s Hall of Heroes.
As the senior non-commissioned officer to the Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, his main goal is to ensure the war fighters have the training, support and resources needed to deploy, fight and return home.
“As the Garrison Command Sergeant Major I must add to the readiness of our Army and the commanders here on Fort Bragg,” said McCray, an Arkansas native. “I am a committed professional, dedicated to the Army and its values. I intend to ensure all are held accountable at varying levels to make sure we meet the end goals for the Army and our service members.”
McCray, who began his Army career in 1990 as a material storage and handling specialist in the Reserves, entered active duty in 1992 as a Patriot missile crewmember.
“The recruiters told me they didn’t need any more quartermaster Soldiers and then showed me a video about the Air Defense Artillery, that sold me,” he said.
His assignments stationed him throughout the world with tours in Germany, Texas, Korea, Bahrain and Fort Bragg.
“Being assigned here (Fort Bragg) was everything I thought it would be,” said McCray whose first assignment at Fort Bragg was with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. He later served here with the 108th ADA Brigade and the 1st Battalion, 7th ADA.
“I embrace the Fort Bragg life style for Soldiers. You could run, you could jump, you could shoot, and that’s what attracted me to the Army and what I truly believe every Soldier wants.”
McCray credits his growth and promotion to the rank of Command Sergeant Major with his rise in rank and the increase in responsibility that accompanies each rank.
“I believe we mature at varying points. Just because you’re a non-commissioned officer, the first day you put your corporal stripe on or your E5 stripe on, doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. It’s the assignments you’ve been on, the responsibilities you have and the missions you have to accomplish that really begin to shape you and help hone your skills as a leader and an NCO,” he said. “My experience has taught me to be an approachable leader, caring and compassionate, but as an NCO, I cannot step aside my responsibilities to provide wise council for my commander so we can make sure we meet all of his priorities. I am loyal to the Army, the mission, the body of Soldiers, and I come last.