Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Dostie relinquished responsibility of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth to Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Helton in a ceremony April 22 at the Frontier Conference Center.
“We exist to build leaders and drive change, and you just watched a great example of that (in Dostie), and we’re excited about watching (Helton) come in and continue that,” said Lt. Gen. James Rainey, commanding general of CAC and Fort Leavenworth.
Dostie assumed responsibility of CAC and Fort Leavenworth May 10, 2018.
“Your contribution here has been legacy-like, generational, life-changing, and I appreciate that,” Rainey said. “(The sergeant major) ought to be the best soldier and (noncommissioned officer) in your unit. … Second, they ought to live the NCO Creed. …The last thing, own the NCO Corps in our formation. You hire it. You fire it. You build it. You manage it. You police it up. Don’t make officers do that.
“If that’s the definition of a great noncommissioned officer, (Dostie) has absolutely done that every minute you’ve been here,” he said. “We’re lucky to have had you here.”
Dostie said while serving as the CAC and Fort Leavenworth command sergeant major, he saw a lot of change.
“The past three years have been transformational for me and opened my eyes to the many different ways the systems and processes that really makes our Army run,” Dostie said. “It has also offered me an opportunity to serve amongst some of the most brilliant and capable soldiers in our Army inventory.
“Serving for commanding generals (Lt. Gen. Michael) Lundy and Rainey has given me insight into how we create an Army,” he said. “It’s not only lethal and relevant to today’s fight, but it’s poised to adapt to emerging threats in the future.”
Dostie will retire from active duty after more than 30 years of service in May.
Helton enlisted in the Army in 1990, completing Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Advanced Individual Training at Fort Rucker, Ala., and airborne training at Fort Benning, Ga.
Helton has held leadership assignments at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Korea; Fort Riley, Kan.; and Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash.
His most recent assignment was as chief of the Sergeants Major Management Division at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Ky., where he was the overseer of all sergeants major management.
“When you hire people into (Training and Doctrine Command), into CAC, you should be able to say to that person, ‘Let me talk to you about your job description. Go build leaders like you,’” Rainey said. “(Helton), you’re up to that and that’s why we hired you and that’s why we’re bringing you on. You’ve got big shoes to fill, but it’s like a relay race. You pass the baton.”
Helton said he is humbled and inspired to serve as the next CAC and Fort Leavenworth command sergeant major.
“General Rainey, I appreciate you, and I appreciate your trust and confidence. I really look forward to driving change and developing leaders with you,” Helton said. “I look forward to learning from each of you. I think the curve is pretty steep, but I’m committed, and I’m motivated. It may take a little time, but you’re always going to get 100 percent of my effort and my energy.”
For the full ceremony, visit the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center Facebook page.