The days leading to a change
By Sgt. John D. Ortiz
4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — The days leading to a change-of-command ceremony are a whirlwind of activity, details are planned for the ceremony, food and drinks are being ordered, and the dreaded command inventories are taking place.
For commanders, it’s a rite of passage, having to inspect hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment worth millions of dollars that mean mission success or mission failure.
For two new company commanders who will take over both a brigade signal and headquarters companies, little occupies their minds but trying to get hands and eyes on every piece of equipment that will be under their signature.
“With a commander’s inventory, we take an inventory on every item on the property books to turn over from the old commander to the new one,” said Staff Sgt. Jesus Jimenez, a member of Alpha Company.
“To accomplish the inventory, we have to lay out every single component on hand receipts; voltmeters, computers, radios and wires, we lay out all unit equipment for inspection,” said Jimenez.
“An added bonus to the inventory is it allows the new commander to get a feel for what they are signing for and the capability of the unit and what it can accomplish,” he said.
Before the guidon is passed to a new commander, every piece of equipment on the books is noted against a list of serial numbers, and every discrepancy is noted and resolved before the new commander takes charge.
No other person works harder than the supply sergeant who puts years of knowledge to the test with the comprehensive inventory.
“There is definitely a lot of work involved,” said Staff Sgt. Gabriel Hamilton, the Alpha Company unit supply sergeant, “but it’s a chance to show my skills as a supply Noncommissioned Officer, and sets the stage for a successful transition for the new command.”
As with any job there is a benchmark of success, and for the supply NCO, that benchmark is set high.
“Making sure everything is accounted for, so nobody has to pay for anything definitely means that I have done my job,” said Hamilton.
“Headquarters and Headquarters Company has one of the largest and most diverse equipment inventories in the Army,” said Capt. Phoebe Price, the outgoing HHC company commander. “The unit has Soldiers operating in multiple functions across the full spectrum of operations.
“There have been a lot of lessons in the past 26 months for the accountability of property,” said Price.
Along with the sheer responsibility of commanding troops, it is up to the commander to set the tone of accountability during their command of the unit.
“I feel confident that I’ve given Captain Crumby all the tools necessary to be successful to take command of this unit,” she said.
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Incoming Alpha Company Commander, Capt. Faith Lee moves through equipment layouts ensuring all equipment is accounted for.
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Capt. Faith Lee the incoming Company Commander, confers with Staff Sgt. Gabriel Hamilton, the Alpha Company Supply NCO on the description and location of company equipment.
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Spc. Dean Zuckerman, a member of Alpha company, holds up two pieces of equipment during an comprehensive inventory conducted by the new Alpha commander, Capt. Faith Lee.