Michigan National Guard
Story by Bruce Huffman
LANSING, Mich.– The Michigan National Guard welcomed its new senior enlisted advisor Army Command Sgt. Maj. William W. Russell III, during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Joint Forces Headquarters March 6.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, oversaw the transition between Russell and his predecessor, Command Sgt. Maj. Catherine A. Farrell, who served in the position for two years. Russell brings nearly 32 years of military experience to the position.
As the Senior Enlisted Advisor, Russell will advise Rogers on all National Guard enlisted matters affecting training, utilization, health of the force, and enlisted professional development.
During the ceremony, Rogers passed an NCO sword between Farrell and Russell to symbolize the transition of authority. “This is a simple ceremony, but it’s so symbolic,” said Rogers. “The success of the United States Army depends on the NCO corps, and it starts at the top with the Command Sergeant Major. The CSM commands the respect of senior leaders, and most important they command the respect of the more than 11,000 enlisted Soldiers and Airmen of this command.”
Rogers thanked Farrell for her assistance and mentorship during her time in the position, remarking on her commitment and dedication to the men and women of the Michigan National Guard. “I appreciate her leadership and influence, not just over the past two years, but over the last 34,” said Rogers. “What CSM Farrell has given to this organization cannot be measured. The change she helped bring, the impact, the influence, and her leadership has been significant.”
Rogers went on to express his faith in Russell. "Today Command Sgt. Maj. Russell assumes the responsibility of the senior enlisted advisor, and he is the absolute right person for the role," said Rogers. “He brings with him tremendous leadership experience earned throughout his distinguished career."
Russell recently served as the command sergeant major of the 177 Military Police Brigade, in Taylor, Michigan. “Thank you Maj. Gen. Rogers for the opportunity to continue to serve this great organization in this capacity,” said Russell. “It’s an honor to serve the enlisted Soldiers and Airmen of this command, and I would like to emphasize the word ‘serve’.”