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The Maneuver Center of Excellence and the Fort Benning community welcomed the new Infantry School command sergeant major Aug. 18 during a change of responsibility ceremony in Marshall Auditorium.
Command Sgt. Maj. Wilbert Engram assumed responsibility from outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremiah Inman and said his new position represented a major milestone in his career.
"Twenty-eight years ago, without any guidance, I blindly ventured into a recruiter's office to do my part in the defense of this country," Engram said. "Soon after, I was bussed to Sand Hill. ... From that day forward, as many of you can attest, my very psyche, attitude and warrior spirit was developed and further honed. ... Today represents the full circle of my maturation and I will honorably represent the 'Follow me' attitude as the Infantry School trains and develops agile and adaptive leaders."
Brig. Gen. James Rainey, commandant of the Infantry School, served as the ceremony's reviewing officer and praised Engram's wealth of experience.
"He's probably the most well-rounded Infantry NCO in the Army right now that I know," Rainey said. "He's served in light Infantry, mechanized Infantry, Stryker Infantry, in NCO leadership positions, in combat recently and he'll bring a ton of experience and capability here. He lives the NCO creed better than anybody I've met personally, and he does it in a quiet, professional way that just says, 'Do what I do and follow me.'"
Engram's combat tours include Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom 3-4 and 10-11, and Operation Enduring Freedom 13-14. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with six oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman Badge with star and the Expert Infantryman Badge.
Rainey also took time to praise Inman's work during his time at the Infantry School.
"The Army Leader Development Strategy has three things (Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno) talks about when he's looking at leaders - he wants competence, he wants commitment and he wants character, and I don't know somebody in the Army that's a better example of all three of those things rolled up in one leader and one Soldier," Rainey said.
As Inman departs Fort Benning for a yet-to-be-determined assignment, he thanked his Infantry School peers for their hard work during his tenure.
"To the folks in the Infantry School, I appreciate your warm welcome and (the fact that) you took the time to educate me on everything the Infantry does," Inman said. "It's amazing that a staff of less than 24 can deal with more than 100 programs of instruction, get out and visit what we teach and make our courses better to preserve the heritage of the Infantry. ... It's been an honor to be a part of the (Fort Benning) community and part of this Family."