FORT HUACHUCA — The installation’s first female command sergeant major took the reins from the departing command sergeant major who retired Tuesday morning after serving 30 years in the Army.
The “farewell line” on Brown Parade Field was a long one early Tuesday as dozens of well-wishers queued up to bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Warren Kelly Robinson, a beloved leader on post who served as the advisor and “battle buddy” to at least two commanding generals on the installation.
One of them, Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, the former commander of Fort Huachuca and now deputy chief of staff for intelligence at the Pentagon who spent countless hours conferring with Robinson at the installation during the initial onslaught of COVID-19, was on hand at Tuesday’s retirement ceremony with her family.
Robinson’s ceremony was preceded by the Change of Responsibility, at which he relinquished it to Command Sgt. Maj. Tammy Everette, Fort Huachuca’s 14th command sergeant major and the first female to hold that rank on post. Everette, the mother of three children and a grandmother, is also the first female to hold that rank in the Military Intelligence Corps, said Army spokeswoman Tanja Linton.
According to the Army’s website, “Command sergeants major are the senior enlisted advisors to the commanding officer. They carry out policies and standards and advise the commander on the performance, training, appearance and conduct of enlisted Soldiers. A command sergeant major is assignable to battalion level or higher ...They are also the 12th rank in the Army, ranking above Sergeant Major and directly below Sergeant Major of the Army. A command sergeant major is a Noncommissioned Officer.”
Maj. Gen. Tony Hale, the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, lauded noncommissioned officers such as Robinson and Everette, saying they “can make or break the cohesion of the unit.”
He said both Robinson and Everette are “what right looks like.”
For the outgoing Robinson, who was Hale’s “battle buddy” and advisor as well as close friend, the commanding general said, “He is the perfect example of how to place people first.”
For the incoming Everette, whose last assignment was as a G2 sergeant major for the III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, Hale said she is “battle-tested.”
“As a soldier, mother and intelligence professional, I welcome you to team Huachuca,” Hale said to Everette.
As Everette’s husband and two of her three children and grandson looked on, the 25-year Army veteran said she was humbled to be chosen for the responsibility at Fort Huachuca and honored to serve alongside Hale.
Meanwhile, following the Change of Responsibility, Robinson received the new title of Command Sergeant Major Retired.
Potter, who spoke first, commended Robinson for his unwavering advice and even-keeled personality.
“No matter what challenge I handed him, he solved it,” Potter said.
She said three words always come to mind when she thinks of Robinson: leader, energy and wisdom.
Hale of course, echoed Potter’s accolades.
“Kelly was my first real-time battle buddy,” the commanding general said.
When Robinson finally took the podium, he became emotional after thanking his wife Tamara and daughter Taylor. He recalled enlisting in the Army in 1991 after watching a piece on TV about the ongoing conflicts at the time and saying to himself that he wanted to do his part for those efforts. His career began at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“It has been my privilege to serve our nation over the last 30 years,” Robinson said. “Desert 7 signing out.”
Robinson and his wife will be moving to North Carolina.