Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier welcomed Sergeant Major Vern B. Daley, Jr. as the new command Senior Enlisted Advisor during an Assumption of Responsibility Ceremony held at Fort Belvoir on 19 June 2020.
Sgt. Maj. Daley joins the team alongside his wife Suzanne and children AnnaBeth and Buddy from Fort Knox, Kentucky. AnnaBeth is a recent graduate from Emory University and works as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse in Atlanta and Buddy graduated high school this year and plans to train as a firefighter.
The change of responsibility and passing of the noncommissioned officer (NCO) sword is a tradition used to designate the transfer of authority and responsibility between senior enlisted advisors.
“This is a traditional event, rich with symbolism and heritage, that officially recognizes the new Sergeant Major as the custodian of the unit's colors and establishes him as the Senior Enlisted Soldier and Principal Advisor to the PEO,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, Program Executive Officer Soldier.
Master Sgt. Sean Blevins, Senior Enlisted Advisor to PEO Soldier Project Manager Soldier Survivability (PM SSV) moderated the ceremony and provided historical context to the event.
“In 1840, the War Department adopted the unique noncommissioned officer’s sword as a completely functional weapon, not intended for display, but rather for the hard dedicated use. While no longer in the Army's inventory, American noncommissioned officers wore the sword for more than 70 years and during three major wars: the Mexican American War, the Civil War, and the Spanish American War,” he said.
The passing of the NCO sword signifies the assumption of responsibility and authority by the incoming Sergeant Major. Master Sgt. Marc Krugh, who initiated the passing of the sword, has served as the PEO Soldier Senior Enlisted Advisor for the last nine months. During that time he led the workforce in several initiatives including spreading the PEO Soldier message to Sergeant Major Academy Soldiers in Fort Bliss, Tx and has also played a critical role in managing the command’s Continuity of Operations (COOP) posture in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Krugh worked to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of the team while ensuring PEO Soldier mission success. He will return to support the Test Team at Project Manager Integrated Visual Augmentation System (PM IVAS).
During the ceremony, Potts emphasized the importance of the Senior Enlisted NCO leadership role and called Daley to do five things. First, to extend the command presence across the organization and throughout the United States Army. Potts also commissioned Daley to serve as his Senior Advisor, to be the standard bearer for the good order and discipline of the unit, to be PEO Soldier’s expert in combined arms, and lastly to have a pulse on the morale and welfare of the organization.
Daley accepted the commission and said, “I have had the opportunity over the last two weeks of my integration here to observe the incredible, professional, and dedicated group of individuals that work at this organization and I cannot tell you how honored I am that myself, Susan, and Buddy are joining the team.”
“Please remember that whether you are a Soldier, DoD civilian, or contractor I am your Sergeant Major and I am here for you,” added Daley.
“We acknowledge that Team Soldier will continue to meet our responsibility to provide the best most reliable products to the men and women answering our nation's call to duty,” said Blevins in the ceremony’s closing remarks.