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‘Devil’ Brigade bids farewell to senior NCO

By Staff Sgt. Bernhard Lashleyleidner | 1ST ABCT PUBLIC AFFAIRS | March 21, 2014

Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Kiefer, senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, received the Legion of Merit award Jan. 8, 2014 at Fort Riley.

Kiefer has been the brigade’s senior NCO since July 26, 2012. He will serve in the position until Feb 12, 2014, before moving to a new position in Ansbach, Germany.

The Legion of Merit is a U.S. armed forces award given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievements, according to Army Regulation 600-8-22, Chapter 3-12b.

Col. John Reynolds III, commander, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div., led the ceremony, which was attended by more than 80 Soldiers, peers and family members who came to bid Kiefer farewell.

Kiefer talked about the rich history of the brigade and the special relationship between the commander and command sergeant major.

Reynolds told the crowd how great it was to work with his right-hand man and how he wished he could keep Kiefer at the brigade.

Reynolds, along with his wife, Andrea, presented Patricia Kiefer with the Lady Victory award and thanked her for all her hard work and dedication to the brigade.

“I want to thank everyone that came for being a part of the Army and our brigade. You are all the reason I am up here receiving this award,” Kiefer said. “This assignment to ‘America’s First’ has been one of the best and richest assignments of my career.”

During the ceremony, Kiefer was described as a great leader.

“Working for Sgt. Maj. Kiefer was a blast. He is a great mentor and leader,” said 1st Sgt. Tony Reese, senior NCO, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “His leadership style is different from any leader I have ever worked for because he doesn’t just tell you to do something; he shows you how to do it.”

Kiefer’s previous assignments include Operation Joint Endeavor, as a member of Implementation Force Bosnia, and three combat tours to Afghanistan.
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