Charlotte Richter/Staff Writer
The Fort Leavenworth Army Garrison change of responsibility ceremony between outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Antwone Jones and incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Erika Rhine-Russell was Feb. 11 at the Frontier Conference Center. Garrison Commander Col. John Misenheimer Jr. spoke about the role of the Garrison command sergeant major and recognized Jones and Rhine-Russell for their achievements and experience.
Misenheimer said the role of the Garrison command sergeant major requires flexibility, patience, awareness and understanding while maintaining a positive community outlook.
“I stand in awe as I work alongside a hero and an icon — the Garrison command sergeant major — and with 100 percent certainty, the Army got it right when it placed Antwone Jones here three years ago, and with placing Erika Rhine-Russell in the seat today,” Misenheimer said.
Misenheimer noted Jones’s achievements as a leader and a positive influence. He said community leaders also recognize Jones’s effect on Fort Leavenworth as someone who made a difference for others and refused to fail.
Jones joined the Army as a combat medic in 1993 and completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His previous assignments include Germany; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Sill, Okla.; Korea and Fort Belvoir, Va., as well as two tours in Iraq, one in Kuwait and another in Bosnia.
Jones, his wife, Belinda, and their three sons will return to Fort Sam Houston for his next assignment.
Misenheimer said he is excited to work with Rhine-Russell and is confident that her character and abilities will enhance the Garrison.
“You have a wealth of leadership experience throughout your career, and from one fellow AG professional to another, it is evi
dent that you deeply care for people, are an expert at problem-solving and eager to contribute to the team,” Misenheimer said. “I have the utmost faith and confidence that you are up for the task, and I look forward to the synergy you bring to the team and the positive impact you will make to this wonderful installation.”
Rhine-Russell enlisted in the Army as a personnel administration specialist in 1997 and completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training in Fort Jackson, S.C. She has since served at Fort Gordon, Ga.; Yongsan, Korea; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Alaska; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Daegu, Korea; and Fort Hood, Texas. Rhine-Russell deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Rhine-Russell’s daughter and son join her for her new role at Fort Leavenworth.
During her remarks, Rhine-Russell thanked the Fort Leavenworth Garrison for the opportunity and warm reception. She also thanked her family and mentors for their support and counsel.
“I am greatly humbled for the chance to serve with truly committed and genuine professionals. I will strive to achieve much success in this exceptional command,” Rhine-Russell said. “My family and I consider it an honor to be members of the Garrison family.”