SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Brig. Gen. Giselle Wilz, NATO Headquarters Sarajevo (NHQSa) commander, hosted a change-of-responsibility ceremony for the command senior enlisted leader on Camp Butmir, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Aug. 2, 2016.
"Today is a bittersweet day for me," General Wilz expressed. "It is the end of one chapter and the start of a new one."
Command Sgt. Maj. Harley J. Schwind Jr. relinquished responsibilities as the command senior enlisted leader to Command Sgt. Maj. David W. Nunn. The change of responsibility was signified with the time passing of the colors, a time honored ceremony, rich in tradition and significance.
"The history, traditions and accomplishments of NATO HQ Sarajevo are embodied in the unit's colors," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Shelley Yantzer, NHQSa aide-de-camp and narrator for the ceremony. "Traditionally, the unit's senior noncommissioned officer is the keeper and protector of the unit's colors. This continues today. Therefore, it is fitting and proper we rally on the colors today."
Sergeant Major Schwind, a native of Mandan, N.D., passed the colors to General Wilz indicating the return of the responsibilities that where entrusted upon him.
"I couldn't have imagined starting this journey with anyone but Sergeant Major Schwind," the general said. "Neither of us new exactly what to expect, but we knew if we stayed true to our command team philosophy – taking care of soldiers, building the team, and following our warrior ethos – we would be successful."
Then, General Wilz passed the colors to Sergeant Major Nunn, a native of Olympia, Wash., to demonstrate his assumption of responsibility as the command senior enlisted leader.
"A commander cannot go it alone," the general said. "Sergeant majors are the backbone of the U.S. Army. Their value is becoming a stronger and more integral part of NATO military forces."
The ceremony was completed with General Wilz officially appointing Sergeant Major Nunn to the office of NHQSa command senior enlisted leader.
"From this day forward, I place special trust and confidence in your patriotism, dedication, integrity, and leadership abilities," General Wilz explained. "You are charged with the utmost leadership and mentorship for all noncommissioned officers in the command, providing sound advice to the command's officers and showing care and compassion for all service members."
After accepting his charge, Sergeant Major Nunn kept his remarks brief and expressed his gratitude to the general for placing her confidence in him to fill the headquarters' senior enlisted leader position.
"I look forward to working with all of you over the next year," Sergeant Major Nunn said. "I will always give 100 percent to completing the mission and supporting this command team."
Story by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Richard Longoria