KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –
The 7th Mission Support Command celebrated 39 years of Army Reserve service for the outgoing Command Chief Warrant Officer during a Change of Responsibility ceremony March 23, here, at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center.
Chief Warrant Officer Five Martha Ervin relinquished responsibility to Chief Warrant Officer Five Vikki Hecht.
Ervin symbolically handed over the responsibilities of the CCWO to Hecht through the passing of the Warrant Officer Guidon.
The CCWO represents and advises the commander on all matters pertaining to professional military education and training, career management and warrant officer leader development. In the Personnel Office, the primary duties include maintaining lifecycle management of all assigned personnel and subordinate units. Chief Warrant Officer 5 is the highest rank a warrant officer can achieve.
“Know that you leave a legacy that will be remembered by this command, but most importantly, by the Soldiers who you have served with and led,” said Col. Alex Wells, deputy commander of the 7th MSC and presiding official over the ceremony.
On her way to retirement, Ervin kept the concept of time at the center of her speech.
“Time moves quickly. … Time is precious,” said Ervicn. “I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to come here and support me and Chief Hecht.”
The ceremony was bittersweet for Ervin, who joined the Alabama National Guard in 1980 as a personnel administrative specialist.
Ervin was also witness to the early years of the integration of women into the Regular Army. According to the Army’s Women’s History website, between 1980 and 1990, women were integrated into basic training and advanced schooling. They joined units that responded to regional conflicts, natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the globe.
Perhaps that’s why it’s fitting for the Change of Responsibility ceremony to occur during Women’s History Month.
The last three individuals to fill the CCWO position at the 7th MSC have all been women.
“It’s a privilege to follow in another woman’s footsteps,” said Hecht.
Both Hecht and Ervin said they never thought about themselves as females during their time in service.
“I never really see myself as a woman in this uniform. I see myself as a Soldier,” Ervin said.
Ervin added that regardless of gender, we all have a tool belt to support Soldiers. The job is about Soldiers taking care of other Soldiers.
A 2007-2008 deployment to Afghanistan was a chance for her to see the joint force come together and support Soldiers at every level. She said it was the highlight of her career.
“All my training came together at that moment,” said Ervin.