Command Sgt. Maj. Ely Capindo is learning all about the community in and around Fort Stewart, and for a good reason.
Command Sgt. Maj. Capindo took over as the garrison command sergeant major Thursday morning, taking the responsibilities from retiring Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Buchanan.
“It’s a very unique role, and I stand ready to go,” Command Sgt. Maj. Capindo said.
Capindo came to Fort Stewart from Camp Humphreys, Korea, where he was command sergeant major of the 11th Engineer Battalion. He’s been on Fort Stewart since January, and he’s been accompanying Command Sgt. Maj. Buchanan on his duties.
“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’ve learned quite a bit in time of transition.”
Garrison commander Col. Manny Ramirez praised his incoming senior enlisted advisor.
“Sgt. Maj. Capindo has been an extraordinary noncommissioned office with an outstanding record of proven leadership,” Col. Ramirez said. “You are about to embark on one of the most difficult but absolutely rewarding jobs the Army has to offer. I am supremely confident you are the right leader for the job.”
Buchanan spent two-and-a-half years as the garrison’s top enlisted soldier, and Ramirez noted some of the challenging times they have had together.
“This is arguably one of the most demanding and difficult senior enlisted advisor jobs in the Army,” he said.
The garrison has a mission to support, Col. Ramirez added, which includes more than 51,000 soldiers, their families and civilian personnel. The base has more than 180 services for soldiers, family members and veterans.
During Buchanan’s tenure as garrison command sergeant major, the post went through such as challenges as hurricane preparation, housing issues, mold problems in single enlisted barracks and the COVID-19 pandemic – along with, as Col. Ramirez pointed out, wildlife-induced power outages, on top of preparing units for deployment.
“Sgt. Maj. Buchanan proved himself to be a gifted servant leader,” Col. Ramirez said. “He successfully built lasting relationships with the surrounding communities and led a workforce that was committed to the customer while enabling the combat readiness for those soldiers.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Capindo also cited relationship-building as key to his job.
“My first goal is to make sure I reach out to the community inside Fort Stewart, and then reach out to the community outside of Fort Stewart,” he said. “I believe building those relationships is important not only to Fort Stewart but to the Army.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Capindo added he will bridge gaps between the various directorates on the post. Fort Stewart also bills itself as the Army’s premier power projection platform, and that will be put to the test again in the coming weeks and months as the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team and Sustainment Brigade leave for a nine-month deployment to Europe.
“I know it’s going to be busy,” he said, “so definitely I look to support the 3rd Infantry Division and their families with the readiness of our troops.”