Fort Campbell, KY – The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) conducted a change of responsibility ceremony here May 27th, 2021 during which Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Barker relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Veronica Knapp.
The official ceremony demonstrates to the “Screaming Eagles” that Barker has passed the mantle of responsibility to Knapp, and with this passing the loyalty and unity of the division’s Soldiers. The division command sergeant major is the most senior-ranking noncommissioned officer in the organization.
“What’s truly special about this ceremony is that the leaders, all you see in front of you, are nothing but noncommissioned officers,” said Maj. Gen. JP McGee, division commanding general. “I think we all know that the strength and the backbone of our United States Army are the noncommissioned officers.”
Barker served as the division command sergeant major – holding the call sign “Eagle 7” – for two years.
“He is a leader that receives the highest levels of respect from every rank here at Fort Campbell,” said McGee. “Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan Barker, I think, lives by three creeds: The Soldier’s Creed, the Ranger Creed, and the Noncommissioned Officer Creed. He is a Soldier for all of us to emulate, officer and enlisted.”
McGee additionally praised and welcomed Knapp to the organization.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Knapp has a stellar reputation and is a highly respected noncommissioned officer,” said McGee. “She is a fantastic developer of subordinates and leaders, and her perspectives and experiences will be exactly what Fort Campbell needs as we prepare for our next rendezvous with destiny.”
Knapp acknowledged Barker’s efforts to welcome her during the ceremony.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Barker, thank you for your warm welcome and efforts in making this transition as seamless as possible,” said Knapp. “The impacts of your leadership and service are visible throughout every aspect of the organization and community. I will continue to hold the ground you have gained and progress your ongoing efforts forward.“
On top of the endeavors she inherits from Barker, Knapp said she plans to preserve the legacy of what it means to be, and to cultivate, Screaming Eagle Soldiers.
“You have entrusted me with the care and development of our Soldiers, maintaining the highest standards the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell is known for, and continuing the tradition of those who have come before me,” said Knapp. “I fully understand that our future is war, and accept all responsibility without reservation.”