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By Staff Sgt. Nicolas Cloward
Utah Army National Guard
The 97th Troop Command, Utah Army National Guard conducted a change of responsibility ceremony at the 640th Regiment, Regional Training Institute on Camp Williams, Utah, May 23, 2021, where Command Sgt. Maj. Richard G. Thalman transferred responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Richard S. Brown.
The change of responsibility ceremony is a time-honored tradition where the outgoing senior noncommissioned officer symbolically relinquishes responsibility by passing the organizational colors to the unit commander and from there, passing them to the incoming senior noncommissioned officer.
Col. Tammy E. Manwaring, commander, 97th TC, hosted the ceremony and spoke about her time working alongside Thalman and the brigade moving forward in the future with Brown.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Thalman is an exceptional leader, senior NCO, and person. He really leads from the front, and he loves what he does. He loves being out there with the units and being involved," said Manwaring. "I'm looking forward to working with Command Sgt. Maj. Brown. He really brings a wealth of knowledge and a wide range of experience to the brigade. It's been great already getting to know him."
After the passing of the colors, both command sergeants major were given a moment to address the formation and the attending families.
Thalman, who was assigned as the command sergeant major of 97th TC in 2017 and concurrently served as the Region VIII Homeland Response Force senior enlisted leader, spoke about the accomplishments of the brigade's units under his command.
"During my time over the last three and a half years coming into this position, all of our units have exceeded my expectations," said Thalman. "One of my mantras is, ‘the best unit is the one you're in,’ and it's because you guys make it that way. Take that with you and 'quell the storm.'"
Thalman will be taking command as the Land Component Command senior enlisted advisor, Utah Army National Guard.
The time was then turned over to Brown, who previously served as the Utah Training Center garrison command sergeant major and most recently served as the noncommissioned officer in charge of Policy Compliance and Oversight Division, Warrior Care and Transition, Utah Army National Guard Medical Command.
"Thank you for your support. I look in here, and if I count every one of you, this is how many new mentors I have the opportunity to learn from," said Brown. "I'm going to learn from each and every one of you and your assignments, and I look forward to that. Thank you very much."
The 97th TC provides command and support to a wide range of assigned units, including the Homeland Response Force and Military Engagement Team. They also provide trained and equipped forces available during war time, national emergencies, and contingency mobilizations throughout the state.
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