2019-04-05 / Front Page

‘HERE TO SERVE’

Garrison welcomes command sergeant major
Laura Levering
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Jim Clifford passes the U.S. Army Garrison colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett, assuming duties as the garrison command sergeant major from outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie Bryant Jr., during a ceremony held Wednesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. Tammy Moehlman / Multimedia Visual Information Center Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Jim Clifford passes the U.S. Army Garrison colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett, assuming duties as the garrison command sergeant major from outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie Bryant Jr., during a ceremony held Wednesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center. Tammy Moehlman / Multimedia Visual Information Center U.S. Army Garrison Fort Gordon welcomed a new leader during a change of responsibility ceremony Wednesday at Gordon’s Conference and Catering Center.

Command Sgt. Maj. Charlie Bryant Jr. relinquished his responsibilities to Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett. Bryant will retire from the Army after 29 years of service.

Col. Jim Clifford, Fort Gordon garrison commander, opened the ceremony by highlighting some of Bryant’s achievements since Sept. 29, 2016, when Bryant assumed responsibility.

A lot of change occurred under Bryant’s watch, beginning the U.S. Army Cyber Headquarters groundbreaking exactly two months after assuming responsibility. Other monumental events would follow, to include groundbreakings for a new 300-room Candlewood Suites hotel, Gate 6, and the Cyber Center of Excellence campus.

Hannah Clifford, left, wife of Col. Jim Clifford, standing, left, Fort Gordon garrison commander, gets acquainted with new neighbor Sophia Starrett, 5, youngest daughter of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett, standing, right, incoming garrison command sergeant major, and his wife Angelina Starrett. Next to Sophia is one of her older sisters, 1st Lt. Josephin Starrett, 325th Operations Support Squadron. Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Hannah Clifford, left, wife of Col. Jim Clifford, standing, left, Fort Gordon garrison commander, gets acquainted with new neighbor Sophia Starrett, 5, youngest daughter of Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Starrett, standing, right, incoming garrison command sergeant major, and his wife Angelina Starrett. Next to Sophia is one of her older sisters, 1st Lt. Josephin Starrett, 325th Operations Support Squadron. Bill Bengtson / Fort Gordon Public Affairs “You have set in motion strategic plans that will impact Fort Gordon and the surrounding community for many years,” Clifford said. “Every bit of the installation’s $1.6 billion of infrastructure growth is coming through the garrison, and you set the conditions for that growth to be successful, which will benefit not just the post, but those outside the gates.”

On a personal level, Clifford said he was grateful to have Bryant as his teammate when he took command last summer, adding that he has “an incredible way with people.”

“You really showed me the ropes, you made sure I learned the installation business … I relied on you more heavily than you know,” Clifford said.

Speaking to ceremony attendees, specifically junior Servicemembers, Clifford told them Bryant is a man they should emulate.

“He is a man of faith, conviction, honor, and integrity, and he will leave a lasting legacy of accomplishments that will forever impact the Fort Gordon community,” Clifford said.

During his remarks, Bryant said none of the above would have been possible without the hard work and sacrifices of countless others. He encouraged others to keep the momentum going with the goal of making Fort Gordon and the CSRA an even better place to live.

“Yes, it is hard work, but if we want to be the best community in Georgia – the best post in the Army – we must continue pushing transformation and growth forward,” Bryant said.

And although retiring from the military, Bryant will remain in the CSRA.

“As I prepare to hang up my uniform, I leave knowing I have served my nation with loyalty and to the best of my ability, and I look forward to serving in a new capacity.”

Welcoming Starrett and his family, Clifford said he was excited to have Starrett join the team.

“You’re an inspired choice to lead our garrison into the future, and you’re going to be terrific,” Clifford said.

Starrett began his military career in 1992 as a cable systems installer/maintainer. Prior to assuming command, Starrett arrived at Fort Gordon May 2018 and served as the sergeant major to the deputy garrison commander of Transformation on Fort Gordon. He credited his time with the Transformation team as being instrumental in paving the way for a smooth transition and understanding the magnitude of growth happening.

Starrett also expressed appreciation for Bryant and would do his best to continue the standards Bryant set during his tenure.

“You can rest assured that I take my duties to heart, and my responsibilities will be executed with dedication and commitment,” Starrett said.

In closing, he acknowledged his wife, Angelina, and their four daughters.

“I want to express a very heartfelt thank you to my beautiful wife, Angie, and our girls, for all the support and sacrifices that they’ve shown over the years and for the sacrifices that Angie will continue to so graciously make over the next two and a half years as we take on the awesome responsibility of serving the Servicemembers and civilians and families of Fort Gordon and Cyber Center of Excellence.”

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