Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) welcomed its new senior enlisted leader, Navy Command Master Chief Jeffrey Covington, during a Fort Eustis, Virginia on Nov. 14, 2014.
JTF-CS is the unit that anticipates, plans and integrates U.S. Northern Command chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) operations. JTF-CS provides command and control for designated Department of Defense specialized response forces to assist local, state, federal and tribal partners in saving lives, preventing further injury, and providing critical support to enable community recovery.
The senior enlisted leader of a unit is charged with mentoring enlisted military members, upholding standards, enforcing discipline and giving sound advice to the commander and members of the unit.
Covington becomes the eighth senior enlisted leader in the 15-year history of the command replacing Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Capps, who is retiring.
“It is my goal to enhance mission readiness with a continued focus on the professional development of our Warriors,” said Covington.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Capps has been a leader in the Army for more than 30 years,” said Army Maj. Gen. William Roy, JTF-CS commander. “He deployed to a combat zone five times during his long career and Joint Task Force Civil Support was truly blessed to have such an experienced leader with us in our ranks.”
Capps, a native of Tallahassee, Florida, will retire from the Army after 30 years of service. During his years in the Army, Capps deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The change of responsibility ceremony is rich with historical traditions and significance that dates back to the days of knighthood. The unit’s flag, which is a symbol of its history, is also used to represent the change of responsibility and identify the new senior enlisted leader to each service member. During the ceremony, Capps passed the colors to Roy, who then passed the colors to Covington, signifying the transfer of responsibilities.
“We are also here to welcome Master Chief Covington, a new experienced leader to our command,” said Roy. “We are truly blessed to have him as the newest member of the family.”
Covington, a native of St. Louis, joined the Navy in 1979 and has also had numerous deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His most recent assignment was the Force Master Chief of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
“It is truly an honor for me and a huge milestone in my career to join the Joint Task Force Civil Support team,” said Covington. “My orders are to maintain the unit readiness, increase the professionalism of our force and to be part of a team that is always ready.”
Article adapted from Joint Task Force Civil Support. Image credit: Brian Deitrick/USN