The United States Army Operational Test Command held a ceremony honoring the change of responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Schmidt to Command Sgt. Maj. Mario O. Terenas on Friday.

Brig. Gen. John Ulrich, commander of Operational Test Command, began his remarks in bittersweet contemplation.

“Today, we say goodbye to the Schmidts and welcome the Terenas family. Changes of responsibility evoke a strange combination of emotions. There is a sadness that comes from saying farewell to the outgoing, which is juxtaposed with the happiness that comes from welcoming a new command team and family members,” he said.

Schmidt began working with OTC in February 2016 and will take over as the next command sergeant major of Installation Management Command-Pacific Region at Fort Shafer, Hawaii.

“Eighteen months ago, when I was selected to be the Operational Test Command CSM, I had little to no idea what I was getting myself into,” said Schmidt. “Little did I know that I would stand here today with the knowledge that I just had the most rewarding and enlightening assignment possible.”

He concluded with commending OTC and its continuous goal.

“I wholeheartedly believe in what we do at OTC and the value that it brings to our army. It has truly been my pleasure to be the ‘keeper of the colors’ for the Operational Test Command,” he said. “My pride in being your command sergeant major has been enjoyable because of your accomplishments, all aimed at ensuring our army is trained and fielded with the best possible equipment as we continue into an uncertain future.”

While Terenas has only just arrived at “The Great Place,” he is actively enthusiastic about his incoming position with OTC.

“I pledge to the OTC team that I will give 110 percent of myself to the organization,” he said. “It is absolutely heartwarming to see the overwhelming support we have from the local community and the close partnership that exists.

“From the very first moment that me and my family entered the Greater Fort Hood Area, we felt a warm Texas welcome everyone has told us about,” Terenas mused with a smile. “Having attended high school in Austin, Texas, I can tell you this: it’s good to be back in Texas!”

The OTC’s mission is to provide soldiers with essential information to ensure optimum military intelligence through testing war fighting systems in realistic experimental environments.

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