Friday, one of Fort Riley’s top noncommissioned officers, CSM Craig Bishop, passed along his responsibilities to CSM Raymond Harris in a victory with honors ceremony.
Fort Riley Commanding General and commander of the First Infantry Division Maj. Gen. John S. Kolasheski took part in the ceremony.
He spoke, asking those who witnessed the ceremony to offer a warm welcome to the new Command Sergeant Major and his family. Kolasheski praised Bishop.
“Today we say or say farewell to, in my opinion, one of our army’s finest senior non commissioned officers, CSM Craig Bishop,” he said. “He truly embodies and has set the example for what it means to be a soldier, a husband, a brother, a father, and for me a friend. You cannot quantifiably judge the impacts of a division Command Sergeant Major and his family.”
Kolasheski pointed out elected officials and other community leaders, including people from the Junction City area, who had attended the ceremony alongside soldiers and visitors from around the United States who had come to witness the change of responsibility.
“Craig and Holly, your impacts are undeniable,” he said. “Buffy and I are truly grateful for your teamwork.”
Bishop’s wife, Holly, and their children were unable to witness the formal change of responsibility, but Bishop addressed them directly through a Facebook lifestream that took place during the ceremony.
He struggled not to grow emotional as he said his thank yous and his goodbyes.
“Thanks again, for the continued support,” he said. “You inspire me every day. There’s no way I’d be here without you.”
Bishop expressed his appreciation for, among others, the local community and the soldiers who served under him.
“I will tell you the support from this local community between Junction City and Manhattan. It’s unmatched anywhere across the Army’s inventory,” he said. “We have a lot to be proud of and it truly means a lot.”
To the soldiers, Bishop said he was proud to be able to have served them.
“I’m proud to say I’ll always be a Big Red One soldier,” he said. “And I’m humbled to have gotten to serve as your CSM. Not you serve me — I serve as your CSM — to help us be the best place in the world.”
After Bishop said his farewell-for-nows, he surrendered the podium to Harris.
Fort Riley is familiar territory to Harris, who served here about 24 years ago.
“I’m a Big Red One soldier for life,” he said. “I have been for a long time will continue to be until I’m done with this — my tour in the Army.”
Harris said he looked forward to his future with Fort Riley and its soldiers.
“I will tell you the 1st Infantry Division is ingrained in me — it has made me the leader that I am today,” he said. “I look forward to serving as your commands are major, and building a strong partnership with the community.”