There is no finer example of a noncommissioned officer and his wife than Command Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Schroeder and Marla, said Lt. Gen. Mark Milley as he said goodbye to his “wingman” during a ceremony June 25 at III Corps Headquarters.
After 20 months with III Corps, Schroeder left his post as III Corps and Fort Hood’s top enlisted soldier to take on that role at U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.
“(My wife) and I want to personally thank you both for your exceptional leadership and friendship that you have shown,” Milley said. “We were very blessed to have such a tremendous senior NCO command team to navigate ourselves through the challenges of the past many months — both here and in combat in Afghanistan.”
Schroeder served on the Phantom Corps’ most recent nearly yearlong deployment to the country, where he was the top NCO for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters in Kabul. On previous deployments, he led soldiers from the positions of company first sergeant, and then battalion, brigade and division senior enlisted soldier.
“That is a combat record of NCO leadership that has never been previously done in Army history,” Milley said. “Scott Schroeder brought so much to this Phantom team. ... He was my eyes and ears to provide me situational understanding of ground troops and he never failed to provide me timely and critical advice.
“Third Corps’ success in Afghanistan would not have happened ... without Scott Schroeder’s personal effort,” he said.
For his efforts, Schroeder was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Phantom Warrior for Life Award.
Schroeder said he has been in the Army 31 years, but for all he’s put into it, he’s received it back tenfold.
“Marla and I are also humbled to have the opportunity to serve at Forces Command. Now III Corps is still part of Forces Command, so I’ll be back,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
For most of his speech, Schroeder spoke directly to the soldiers and NCOs of Fort Hood.
“Continue to create a climate that builds a culture for soldiers to achieve excellence,” he said. “Challenge your soldiers, they expect it.
“Inspire soldiers by your personal example,” he continued. “Seek opportunities to become technically proficient and a master of your craft.”
He then thanked Milley for his leadership.
“Gen. Milley is the most loyal subordinate I’ve ever served with,” he said. “There’s no place I wouldn’t go and no foe I wouldn’t face with you in command.”
As he closed out his final address to Fort Hood, Schoeder thanked his wife, and left everyone with a final thought on teamwork: “Alone I am nothing; with my team I’m invincible.”
Schroeder’s replacement has not been announced.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.