2018-01-12 / News Update

National Guard names 9th command sergeant major

Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., Georgia Army National Guard assistant adjutant general, presents outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield, Georgia Army National Guard command sergeant major, with the Legion of Merit Medal at a change-of-responsibility ceremony. The medal is presented in gratitude for his three years of service as the state command sergeant major. Courtesy Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., Georgia Army National Guard assistant adjutant general, presents outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield, Georgia Army National Guard command sergeant major, with the Legion of Merit Medal at a change-of-responsibility ceremony. The medal is presented in gratitude for his three years of service as the state command sergeant major. Courtesy Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn D. Lewis of Powder Springs, Georgia, assumed responsibility as the 9th Georgia Army National Guard senior enlisted leader during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters, Marietta, Georgia. Lewis takes on this role as the Georgia Army National Guard command sergeant major from Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield, who is retiring after 27 years of service.

“These events are steeped in military history and tradition,” said Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., Assistant Adjutant General, Georgia Army National Guard. “They’re also bittersweet. It’s never easy to come to an event like this to say goodbye, or so long, or farewell to a leader like Phillip Stringfield after so many years and all that he has done for our organization.”


Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., Georgia Army National Guard assistant adjutant general, presents outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield’s wife, Yvonne with the Georgia Meritorious Service Medal at a change-of-responsibility ceremony. The medal is presented in gratitude of her solidarity and sacrifice. 
Courtesy Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr., Georgia Army National Guard assistant adjutant general, presents outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Stringfield’s wife, Yvonne with the Georgia Meritorious Service Medal at a change-of-responsibility ceremony. The medal is presented in gratitude of her solidarity and sacrifice. Courtesy The change-of-responsibility ceremony is a tradition, which the passing of the noncommissioned officer’s sword symbolizes the relinquishing of responsibility from the outgoing to the incoming command sergeant major. As the new command sergeant major of the Georgia Army National Guard, Lewis has the appointment of responsibility and care for all Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers.

“Impress the people you work with now,” said Lewis, speaking of his leadership philosophy. “Train with a focus on building teams and building trust and confidence within each other.”

The ceremony highlighted the career of both the outgoing and incoming command sergeants major.

Lewis has proven he is up for the task and has demonstrated an ability for up-and-out leadership, said Simmons. His potential for a position such as this was evident during his 2014 deployment to Afghanistan with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Lewis began his career in the Army Reserve in 1987 and was initially assigned to the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade, Company F, 51st Long Range Surveillance Company in Stuttgart, Germany. During this time, he was deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Lewis’s most recent assignment was as the command sergeant major of the State Recruiting and Retention Battalion. Previously, he served as the command sergeant major for the 48th IBCT and deployed with them as their senior enlisted leader of Task Force Volunteer in the Kabul Base Cluster region.

In his speech during the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Joe Jarrard, adjutant general, Georgia Department of Defense, recalled his appointment of Stringfield to command sergeant major.

“When I came on board I made a few personnel decisions,” said Jarrard. “That’s one that I don’t know I could have gotten any better.”

Stringfield was appointed state command sergeant major in November 2012. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of key leadership and staff positions ranging from squad leader to command sergeant major of the 2nd Regiment, 121st Infantry Battalion, the 48th IBCT and the 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade.

Return to top