Sgt. 1st. Class Kenneth Foss
1st Brigade Combat Team PAO NCOIC
Nine months ago, Cross Functional Team Warrior deployed to Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, to train, assist, advise and support the Afghan National Security Forces to secure their own country. CFT Warrior Soldiers fought the enemies of Afghanistan, leaving them weakened and leaving the ANSF throughout Ghazni strengthened, securing a piece of land the size of New Hampshire.
Soldiers of CFT Warrior officially reunited with the rest of the 1st Brigade Combat Team during an uncasing ceremony held Friday at Magrath Gym. It was a bittersweet two-part ceremony that marked the Warrior Brigade as being officially reunited.
“As we stood here some nine months ago on the edge of history, this brigade understood what was required, what was expected from our nation, the alliance and Regional Command East,” said Col. Stephen Michael, 1st Brigade Combat Team commander. “We fully understood who we represented; the United States of America, the greatest country on the planet; the great North Country and (the 10th Mountain Division).”
The ceremony also marked the change of responsibility between Command Sgt. Maj. David Martel, 1st BCT senior enlisted adviser, and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Belda.
“Today is special, in that it signifies the 1st Brigade Combat Team has returned and it signifies the change of responsibility from one great sergeant major to another,” Michael said.
Martel assumed responsibility as senior enlisted adviser of the Warrior Brigade on Sept. 8, 2011. He has set the example and the standard in which this brigade has operated while in garrison and during the deployment to Afghan-istan.
He passed the sword of the noncommissioned officer to Michael, who then passed it to Belda, who now holds the responsibility of the Warrior Brigade in his hands.
Martel felt no rush in giving his many thanks and praises to the Soldiers of the brigade, the Family and friends who have supported him along the way, and the people who worked to his left and right.
“My service is not about me, nor should it be. To the members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team: I have seen you perform in combat, I have seen you perform your duties here on (Fort) Drum and I’ve seen you in the field many times, and I’ve never seen you look better,” he said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with each of you; I thank you for your service and your Families’ sacrifice.”
In his next assignment, Martel will remain at Fort Drum, where he will serve as 10th Mountain Division (LI) command sergeant major (rear) during the division’s upcoming deployment to Afghan-
Belda comes to Fort Drum from Fort Riley, Kan., where he served as command sergeant major of 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
"Thank you for this opportunity to work with this great brigade," he said. “I look forward to continuing the long legacy of this historic brigade.”