New leadership: Garrison welcomes new command sergeant major

Incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen (left) receives the garrison guidon from Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard as he assumes the duties as Fort Meade's senior enlisted adviser on Friday at McGill Training Center. (Photo by Phil Grout)
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen addresses the audience during the change-of-responsibility ceremony on Friday morning at McGill Training Center. Cullen assumed the position of leadership from Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Rodwell L. Forbes. (Photo by Phil Grout)

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen assumed a top leadership position as Fort Meade’s senior enlisted adviser in a change-of-responsibility ceremony Friday at McGill Training Center.

Cullen succeeds Command Sgt. Maj. Rodwell L. Forbes who served for more than two years.

In his brief remarks, Cullen said Forbes “set the bar high” and that he looks forward to the challenge of building on the foundation that Forbes established in the Fort Meade community and outside the installation’s gates with community partners and organizations.

“I’m honored for the opportunity to serve the Fort Meade community,” Cullen said.

The 30-minute ceremony began with a musical prelude by the U.S. Army Field Band’s Brass Quintet and the invocation by Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Warren E. Kirby. Master Sgt. Rose Ryon of the Field Band sang the national anthem.

Bouquets were given to Forbes’ wife, Patricia, and family members, and to Cullen’s wife, Connie.

For the change of responsibility, Sgt. 1st Class Byron E. Coffee assisted in the transfer of the colors.

After the exchange of leadership, Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard called Cullen a “seasoned military intelligence leader” who has “led expertly in top tactical, operational and strategic-level positions.”

“I am very confident that Fort Meade will benefit from your leadership,” Rickard said.

Cullen, who previously served with the 500th Intelligence Brigade at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, has been in the Army for more than 27 years.

He has held leadership positions as a section leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant, detachment noncommissioned officer in charge, and battalion and brigade command sergeant major.

Cullen, a native of Washington state, enlisted in 1989 and attended Advance Individual Training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where he trained as an All-Source Analyst.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in intelligence studies and a master’s degree in international relations, both from American Military University.

His military education includes the battle staff NCO course, basic instructor course and all levels of the noncommissioned officer education system. He is also a graduate of the Army Sergeants Major Academy.

Cullen has deployed in support of Desert/Shield Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard and outgoing Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Rodwell L. Forbes shake hands at the change-of-responsibility ceremony. (Photo by Phil Grout)

Rickard praised Forbes for his “leadership, wisdom and compassion,” describing him as the “epitome of the concept of servant leader.”

He also thanked Forbes for being “an outstanding leader, team member and man of character.”

In his remarks, Forbes thanked both the community and his wife, and expressed gratitude for the partnership he helped form with the Hospice of the Chesapeake in rendering Honor Salutes for the organization’s veterans.

“It has truly been an honor to serve with each and every one of you,” he said.

Forbes acknowledged the garrison’s executive team and gave its members a commander’s coin of excellence.

To his successor, Forbes said: “This will be the best adventure of your life. Embrace it and live in it.”

After the ceremony, a reception for Cullen and his wife was held at McGill Training Center.

See more photos below on the Fort Meade Flickr page.

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