CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. – The 101st Engineer Battalion, The Nation’s First, hosted a change of responsibility for its senior enlisted leader in a formal ceremony at the Roxy Base Theater here, Jan. 11, 2014.
Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph P. Conlon is retiring after 36 years of military service, including 6 Command Sgt. Maj. assignments, two of which were with the 101st.
Command Sgt. Maj. John P. Ryan comes to the 101st from Joint Force Headquarters where he served as the 1st Sgt. for the HHD, and from the 164th Transportation Battalion (Iraq/Kuwait OIF-OND) where he served as the Operations Sergeant. Ryan also served as the 1st Sgt. for the 42nd Division Artillery in Iraq and Kuwait during a 2005 deployment.
During the ceremony, Ryan said, “It’s a team effort and we are the team. We have some great goals and priorities laid on for us to accomplish together, but always remember that victory started here!”
Lt. Col. Shawn C. Cody, the 101st Engineer Battalion commander, presided over the ceremony. Praising Conlon for his dedication the National Guard and his soldiers, Cody said, “CSM Conlon has served as a Command Sergeant Major on six separate occasions at both the battalion and brigade and level, that statistic alone says everything you need to know about Command Sergeant Major Conlon. He embodies the Army values in everything he does, he is an exceptional soldier and leader, his dedication to duty, selfless service and integrity are great examples for any soldier, and any person to follow,” said Cody.
Cody also praised the selection of Ryan as the incoming command sergeant major saying, “Command Sergeant Major Ryan has some big shoes to fill following CSM Conlon and CSM Chase, but I know he will excel and do the battalion proud. CSM Ryan has distinguished himself throughout his career and I am 100 percent confident that he will continue to do so as our battalion CSM. We're fortunate to have him on our team, and I am fortunate to have him as my battle buddy, we all know no one can do this alone, it's a team effort. One team one fight! When one succeeds we all succeed!”
Conlon is a recipient of the Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star Medal, as well as the United States Army Chemical Corps Order of the Dragon. Conlon is also the 1984 Soldier of the Year for the State of Massachusetts.
Addressing the audience at the ceremony Conlon said, “It has always been my honor to lead this battalion twice as your Command Sergeant Major, and a privilege to serve alongside the finest engineer soldiers in the Army.” As he relinquished command responsibility Conlon reminded the engineers to “continue to follow the army values...believe it or not, these values are much sought after in the civilian world… in closing, I will take many treasured memories of the battalion and the Army National Guard into retirement...SAPPER07 [old guy] is off the net.” Conlon currently works for the Foxboro Company as Senior Director of Field Device Manufacturing.