The Army Reserve's 318th Theater Public Affairs Support Element conducted a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Col. Paul G. Schulstad United States Army Reserve Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois during their hybrid Battle Assembly on November 15, 2020 welcoming Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony L. Taylor as the incoming command sergeant major and bidding farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Kerry McAllen as the outgoing command sergeant major. COVID mitigations were in place to reduce unit and staff members during the weekend training as well as require face masks and social distancing.
McAllen of Madison, Wisconsin, is retiring from the military after 31 years of service. She started as a Light Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in 1990, with multiple deployments, and completed her career as the command sergeant major for the public affairs battalion.
“I have witnessed time and time again the mission come down, and you all rose to the occasion” said McAllen. “This is truly above and beyond, and I’ve never seen the members of an entire organization do whatever it takes to get the story."
McAllen concluded remarks with what was her mission and vision for the 318th future, stating to take opportunities to serve, learn, accept challenges and teach others.
Lt. Col. Jennifer K. Mack, commander of the 318th TPASE, thanked McAllen for her hard work and then remarked on the limited ability to honor McAllen for her years of service..
“It is with sadness… that the events brought on by this pandemic have limited our ability to properly honor the more than three decades of service to our nation,” said Mack. “While we know that you will participate in a more formal retirement ceremony to be held post-pandemic, we want to do our best to honor you in our own small way.”
After presenting McAllen with a plaque, Mack turned to welcome Taylor, originally from Long Branch, New Jersey.
“…today’s ceremony is the opportunity for me to introduce you to this demanding command…,” said Mack. “I hope to capitalize on both your operational experience and your expertise in the public affairs domain. Your previous assignments… will no doubt serve you well.”
Taylor is returning to the 318th TPASE from the 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He previously served in the Public Affairs field as a public affairs detachment sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Command First Sergeant and journalist. He also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography with a focus in photojournalism from Columbia College Chicago.
Taylor thanked Mack for the opportunity, wished McAllen the best as she transitioned from the Army into 'a much-deserved retirement', and thanked his wife, Thitiya Taylor for handling the roles in their family alone when he is away.
“To the Soldiers of the 318th TPASE,” said Taylor “I am beyond excited about the things we will do… Stay Focused!”