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Good humor and smiles mark Change of responsibility ceremony

Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn Carns and Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson are all smiles moments after Carns became First Corps top enlisted soldier. Photo credit: JM Simpson

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This past Monday afternoon during a Change of Responsibility Ceremony at I Corps Headquarters, America's First Corps said farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Pospisil as it welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn Carns.

"They are the first example to our soldiers; they are the backbone of our Army; they are leaders formerly and informally," said Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, I Corps commander.

Then speaking specifically about Pospisil's influence on him, Brunson added, "He talks the same way, honest and forthright. He will tell you exactly how you look and what you need to know."

Pospisil, who assumed responsibility of I Corps in August of 2019, will retire from the Army after more than 30 years of service.

His sense of humor will be missed as well.

"I keep waiting to see if someone jumps out from behind a bush to take my name off the sign in front of headquarters," Pospisil quipped moments after beginning his remarks. As laughter rippled through the crowd, he added a few moments later, "And I am not going to get up before the sun anymore."

To his smiling audience, Pospisil said he was honored to have served with the nation's sons and daughters; that NCOs must work hard and make a difference; and that they should leave their desks better than they found them.

"I could not be prouder," he concluded, "because our people make a difference every day."

But it was the lightheartedness of his comments that made his farewell remarks memorable and meaningful.

As it turns out, Carns has a sense of levity as well. "You'll notice there is someone already at work on the sign," he deadpanned as he looked at Pospisil. 

Sure enough, an individual at the back of the crowd had walked over to the sign and began to pantomime removing Pospisil's name. Laughter again spread through the audience.

"Leadership is a relationship based on trust," said Carns in his brief and timely remarks, "and I will give you and the team 100 percent of that every day."

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