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NEWS | Oct. 21, 2015

California Army Reserve Civil Affairs Command changes senior enlisted Soldier

By Master Sgt. Mark Bell USACAPOC(A)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – The Army Reserve’s 351st Civil Affairs Command’s senior enlisted Soldier transitioned during a Change of Responsibility Ceremony held at Moffett Field Oct. 17.

Brig. Gen. William Barriage, the commanding general of the 351st CACOM, transferred the senior enlisted duties and responsibilities of more than 2,100 Soldiers in eight states, to include Hawaii, from Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Martello to Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory Thomsen.

The 351st CACOM is assigned to the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. USACAPOC(A) has more than 13,000 Soldiers with Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations and Information Operations units across the country.

Barriage said his command is unique to USACAPOC(A) as it is the only CACOM that has an assigned relationship to a supported theater service component command, which is U.S. Army Pacific Command.

“This brings increased connectedness and value in our role of supporting the Army,” he said. “[Martello] has served a pivotal role in the command gaining the 322nd CA Brigade as part of this command, making us the only three brigade CA command with a forward stationed and aligned CA brigade in the Pacific.”

He said during Martello’s tenure as the senior enlisted Solider, he has helped the command grow and excel in skill proficiency and readiness while the command transitioned during a wartime operational tempo to peacetime engagements.

“He has been instrumental in all aspects of CA operations, most notably in strengthening our relationship with the Pacific Theater and USARPAC,” Barriage said.

Martello, who is a Los Angeles native, retired from the Army with more than 35 years of service in both active and reserve component service.

Thomsen joined the CACOM from his most recent assignment as the command sergeant major of the 358th CA Brigade, in Riverside, California. His wife, Jo Beth, is an operations sergeant major assigned to the 405th CA Battalion, in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

“The transfer of authority represents the formal transition responsibilities and duties related to the order and discipline for this command and the care and maintenance of our Soldiers,” Barriage said. 

Thomsen thanked Martello and his family for the support during the transition.

“In the world of commissioned officers, they say being selected for command is one of the greatest honors and privileges,” he said. “In the world of noncommissioned officers, it is equally an honor and privilege to serve alongside that commander.”

Thomsen said he looked forward to writing a new chapter of the 351st CACOM.

“We are in the beginning of another defining era for the 351st and civil affairs in general,” he said. “I’m excited to see our Soldiers play such critical roles in Pacific operations, an area our national leaders recognize as one of the most important areas in preserving our nation’s security.”

Thomsen thanked Barriage for the opportunity to stand by his side as a member of his command team.

“I look forward to building an even stronger team for our command and its Soldiers,” Barriage said. 

USACAPOC(A) has 94 percent of the Army’s General Purpose Forces’ CA Capability, 100 percent of the Army’s General Purpose Forces’ PSYOP Capability and 42 percent of the Army’s General Purpose Forces’ I/O Capability. The command also has oversight of all Army Reserve airborne operations.