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Lead the way.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the command team of the 1st Engineer Brigade for their efforts in making ENFORCE 2004 the success that it was. Under the leadership of Colonel Paul Kelly and Command Sergeant Major Gerald Jones, the soldiers and civilians of the brigade showed their dedication to the mission by working tirelessly throughout the weeks leading up to and during the conference. And thanks to the Army Engineer Association (AEA) for its hours of support throughout the week. A special thanks goes to Mrs. Nancy Gregory and her team in our Executive Services Office for their work. Thanks for all you continue to do for our great Regiment and for making ENFORCE 2004 such a success.

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Among the many events that took place during ENFORCE was the annual Council of Command Sergeants Major. It was great to see so many representatives from across the Regiment. Briefings ranged from Command Sergeant Major Michael Cline (5th Engineer Battalion) and Command Sergeant Major Greg Glen (555th Engineer Group) speaking on lessons learned from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, to Master Sergeant Sean Conner (Sapper Leader Course Noncommissioned Officer in Charge) giving a course update, to Master Sergeant Michael Bergeron and Staff Sergeant Richard Cook briefing on mine/countermine and the Mine Dog Section.

In concert with our ENFORCE theme, Forging our Future--Shaping Engineers for Joint and Multinational Operations, we were fortunate to have briefers from our sister services. Master Sergeant Frank Miller (U.S. Marine Corps), Master Chief Thomas Babb (U.S. Navy), and Chief Master Sergeant Steven Fraher (U.S. Air Force) provided updates that will bridge the gap between engineer capabilities in all services as our armed forces move into a new era of joint operations.

One of the most debated briefings came from Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Watson. It drew a mixture of support and dissent when he spoke on the Future Engineer Force, based on the White Paper on that subject. It is my sincere hope that we left this briefing with a better understanding that the Regiment must change now to support the combatant commander. The White Paper, which articulates our vision for the Future Engineer Force, is consistent with the Army's transformation to a joint and expeditionary force.

Activities the rest of the week included the AEA Golf Scramble and the annual AEA luncheon. Honored guests at the luncheon were Major General Jack Waggener (Retired) and Command Sergeant Major Jack Butler (Retired), our outgoing Honorary Colonel and Command Sergeant Major of the Regiment. Receiving their charge as the incoming Honorary Colonel and Command Sergeant Major were Major General Pat Stevens (Retired) and Command Sergeant Major LeRoy Mello (Retired). Both were formally recognized at the 15th Engineer Regimental Dinner. We were fortunate to have Mr. Don Stivers, who unveiled his first-ever engineer print. Titled The Command Team, the print depicts the relationship between commander, command sergeant major, and their soldiers as they prepare to cross the line of departure.

This year's Regimental Review/Regimental Muster featured a special tribute to Lieutenant General Robert B. Flowers, 50th Chief of Engineers. Unbeknown to General Flowers, when the adjutant gave the command "Officers and Colors, Post," the colors from all of General Flowers' previous units posted to the side of the reviewing stand. Also, during the "Pass and Review," General Flowers was joined on the reviewing stand by his wife Linda and honors were rendered to the entire Flowers family for all of their years of service, support, and dedication to the Engineer Regiment and the Army. They will surely be missed when he retires this summer.

The most explosive event was the Sapper Leader Course demonstration after the Regimental Run. We also introduced a "Best Sapper" competition that will be held at Fort Leonard Wood on 22-25 April 2005. Select and train your best sapper team for this new annual competition.

Among those honored at the Regimental Dinner were the recipients of this year's Regimental Awards. See page 30 for a list of the active duty, reserve, and National Guard winners. Congratulations to all of these outstanding sappers.

We took the time to honor our fallen sappers during a solemn memorial ceremony at the Engineer Memorial Grove. Lieutenant Colonel Tony Funkhouser and Command Sergeant Major Michael Cline, command team of the 5th Engineer Battalion, recited the names of all our engineer comrades who have given their lives in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. This somber event served as a reminder that freedom isn't free. We are forever in their debt, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of every soldier who has paid the ultimate sacrifice. We continue to pray for those soldiers who are deployed in harm's way.

By Command Sergeant Major Clinton J. Pearson

U.S. Army Engineer School
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Title Annotation:military engineering
Author:Pearson, Clinton J.
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:805
Previous Article:Clear the way.
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