U.S. Army Garrison for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield has a new command sergeant major. Command Sgt. Maj. Myron Lewis assumed responsibility as the senior enlisted soldier Friday morning during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at Club Stewart.
He replaces Command Sgt. Major James Mitchell, garrison command sergeant major for Hunter, who stepped in to fill duties at Stewart and Hunter two months ago when former Stewart-Hunter Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Felicioni left for Hawaii, where he now serves as command sergeant major for U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the soldiers standing in formation in front of you today represent only a small portion of the soldiers here at Fort Stewart,” Stewart-Hunter Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Gregory said. “We’ve been taking care of you one way or another since you came on the base, whether it was from Highway 144 or through the front gate in Hinesville.”
Gregory told soldiers and families attending the ceremony that the Stewart-Hunter garrison supports more than 140,000 soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and family members. He talked briefly about some current projects, including a joint effort with Hinesville for widening Veterans Parkway up to the gate at Fort Stewart. He said the U.S. Army Installation Management Command gave the Stewart-Hunter garrison
$6 million for funding and special projects. Half that money is being used for the Stewart portion of the Veterans Parkway project, he said. He added that Stewart-Hunter has an economic impact of $4.9 billion on Coastal Georgia.
Then, referring to Lewis as his new “battle buddy,” he told everyone if they need anything on the installation — even if it’s 3 a.m. — they now know to call Lewis. He thanked Mitchell for stepping in during the interim, and then told Lewis he is sure the next two years would be rewarding.
“I first came to this installation a quarter century ago as Spc. Lewis,” Lewis said. “Back in those days, they let a soldier sign in to an installation. I was coming from Korea and supposed to go to Fort Drum, N.Y., but that was too far north for me, so I asked the garrison sergeant major if he could find me a job here.”
That command sergeant major was able to help him. Lewis was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, where he soon deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Now that he’s serving as garrison command sergeant major, he promised to help soldiers, their families and military civilians.
Lewis began his military career in 1987 as an administrative specialist. On his return from Desert Storm, he reclassified into the Military Police Corps. In addition to Korea, he served in Germany, several stateside installations and did another tour in Iraq. It was during that tour that he lost one of his soldiers, Spc. Clarence Williams III. Williams’ family was there to congratulate Lewis on his new assignment Friday.
Lewis pointed out his driver’s father and mother, Clarence Williams Jr. and Talisa Williams, and sisters Abrill Edwards and Samantha Williams. The Gold Star family members said they were there to support Lewis. Their son was killed in Iraq on July 8, 2012.
Lewis told Gregory he was glad to be his battle buddy and was more than willing to take some of the load off his commander’s shoulders. With a laugh, he added that he always carries a can of “gnat spray” — something he said is necessary for anyone assigned to Fort Stewart.
Following his remarks, Lewis officially replaced Mitchell in front of the formation. The new command sergeant major and his wife, Jeanine, later stood at the end of a receiving line of well-wishers, including 3rd Infantry Division Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Gilpin and U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Luis Carreras.