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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2021

88th Readiness Division welcomes 16th command sergeant major

By Cheryl Phillips 88th Readiness Division

The 16th command sergeant major of the 88th Readiness Division accepted the unit colors during a change of responsibility ceremony held at the command’s headquarters here Jan. 14.

Sgt. Maj. Richard Perez, interim command sergeant major, passed the colors to Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, commander of the 88th RD, who in turn passed the colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Betty. By receiving the unit colors, Betty formally accepted his new responsibilities.

The ceremony was conducted in-person and virtually so Betty’s wife, three children, parents and friends could attend, along with 88th RD personnel. Other 88th RD employees watched the event live.

Betty assumed duties as the RD command sergeant major on Nov. 1, 2020. In this capacity he serves as the 88th RD commanding general’s personal adviser on all matters relating to enlisted Soldiers with emphasis on a solid NCO support chain, training, safety, and quality of service.

Guthrie acknowledged Perez for his service as the interim command sergeant major since April 2020: “I want to say thank you. You held down the fort nicely. You did it in the finest traditions of the NCO corps.”

To Betty, the commander stressed that their relationship is special: “We’re battle buddies. You’re a member of my squad. I’m a member of your squad.”

Guthrie noted that both he and Betty are charged with improving the organization, and he was confident that his new top enlisted non-commissioned officer was equipped for the job. Citing Betty’s background as a logistician and his time as a training division command sergeant major, Guthrie said, “You’re ready for the new responsibilities and I look forward to having you as my battle buddy.”

“You also have the candor to be an effective command sergeant major. When I shut the door I want you to be able to tell me what I’m doing wrong,” Guthrie said. “He’s already done that,” Guthrie added with a smile.

Perez thanked the commander “for trusting me to cover down as interim command sergeant major. It was a great honor and a great opportunity.”

Betty told the audience that today’s ceremony was held on a fitting date because Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is celebrated this weekend, and his father’s birthday is Jan. 15. MLK’s birthday is the same day.

He thanked Guthrie for the opportunity to serve. Betty also expressed appreciation for “the people who were instrumental in getting me here,” including his family. He expressly thanked his wife, children and parents. It’s beneficial to have a “solid and understanding family,” he said.

Acknowledging the 88th RD’s mission to support Army Reserve unit and individual Soldier readiness, Betty said, “As command sergeant major, I’ll continue to make readiness a priority and put people first.”

Recalling the events at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, Betty said “it’s imperative that we keep diversity, equity and inclusion in our everyday lives.”

Betty began his career with the United States Army in April 1988. He completed basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, Va. Throughout his military career, Betty has served in every enlisted leadership position, from team leader to command sergeant major. He has also served as senior logistics NCO, first sergeant and operations sergeant.

Betty comes to the 88th RD after a successful tour as command sergeant major of the 100th Training Division (Leader Development), 80th Training Command (Total Army Schools System).

In his civilian capacity, Betty is a Superintendent with the New York City Transit Authority. He is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. He and his wife Donna have three wonderful children: Gregory Jr., Ryanne and Geordan. They reside in Valley Stream. N.Y.