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NEWS | Oct. 8, 2013

USFK passes the sword

By Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson, U.S. Forces Korea PAO

The senior enlisted leader of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea passed the sword of responsibility to his successor during a Oct. 7 change of responsibility ceremony at Knight Field.

Command Sgt. Major Anthony W. Mahoney, outgoing senior enlisted leader, UNC/CFC/USFK, passed the noncommissioned officers sword to Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander, UNC/CFC/USFK, who passed the sword to Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell, incoming senior enlisted leader, UNC/CFC/USFK, signifying the transfer of responsibility.

“The Creed of the NCO Corps begins with, ‘No one is more professional than I,’” said Scaparrotti. “Today we honor the professionalism that is embodied in two of the finest NCOs in the American military during this change of responsibility between Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Mahoney and Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell.”

Gen. Park Sun-Woo, deputy commander, Combined Forces Command, presented Mahoney the Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit Gwangbok Medal, on behalf of ROK President Park Geun-Hye. The Gwangbok Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a non-commissioned officer in South Korea.

Scaparrotti presented Mahoney the Defense Meritorious Medal, and presented his wife Alisa the Commander’s Award for Public Service.

Scaparrotti credited Mahoney, who served as the senior enlisted leader on the Korean peninsula from August 2011 to October 2013, with several key accomplishments.

“You have ably represented the concerns, needs, and expectations of the thousands of enlisted service members who make up this command,” said Scaparrotti. “You have successfully served as the command sergeant major during an intense period of prolonged provocations. You have provided sound council and loyal service.”

Scaparrotti said that Mahoney helped to build US – ROK ties, and joint capabilities.

“During your tour here, you have worked tirelessly to strengthen the Alliance,” said Scaparrotti. “You have reached out to your ROK counterparts and improved cooperation and coordination among senior NCOs in the ROK military. Your efforts have truly strengthened our joint, combined team.”

Mahoney enlisted in the Army in 1984 and served with various airborne and light infantry units, including with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at Fort Hood, Texas; 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, at Fort Richardson, Alaska; 19th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.; 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, at Fort Bragg, N.C.; and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.  He served as the served as the battalion command sergeant major with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, and with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division. He formerly served as the command sergeant major for the U.S. Corps of Cadets and most recently for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Mahoney said it is not about what he has done; it is about the profession of arms.

“Military service is about teamwork,” said Mahoney. “It’s about trained, disciplined teams that work together, often under very harsh, adverse conditions, striving to achieve their commander’s desired end state.”

Mahoney said it is important to remember why we are here.

“As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice here in Korea, it is important to note that both Koreans and Americans remain steadfast in their collective commitment to protect the hard won freedoms – purchased with blood – which we enjoy, and that this great ROK – US Alliance is stronger than ever.”

Scaparrotti welcomed the incoming command sergeant major and his wife.

“We are honored to have another great military family join this joint, combined team,” said Scaparrotti. “Today, we welcome Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell and his wife, Sandra.”

Troxell is a proven leader, said Scaparrotti.
“For the past 31 years, Command Sgt. Maj. Troxell has served in some of the most challenging assignments in the Army,” said Scaparrotti. “He has served in heavy, light, Stryker, and airborne units throughout his career and has had every leadership position in Armor and Cavalry units from scout team leader to command sergeant major.”
Troxell has served in Operation Just Cause in Panama, where he made a combat parachute jump; Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan where he served as the I Corps / ISAF Joint Command Command Sergeant Major.

Troxell said his priorities are the service members and families serving in the Korean peninsula, and the mission.

“My role as senior enlisted leader will be to gain and maintain the pulse of the combined and joint force, and to support Gen. Scaparrotti’s priorities by focusing on the readiness, discipline, fitness and health, welfare and morale of the combined and joint enlisted force including their families – as well as making sure we understand to the lowest level the nature, make up and probability of the threats from the enemy to the north, thereby insuring we are truly prepared to ‘fight tonight,’” said Troxell.

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