10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) welcomes new Command Sgt. Major

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Story by SSG William Reinier on 12/08/2017
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Tomas Sandoval and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Pfannenstiel during a ceremony Dec. 8th, 2017 at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Sandoval, 10th Group's command sergeant major since July, 2016, and is leaving to become the Command Sgt. Major of 1st Special Forces Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina the first-ever 10th Group Soldier to serve in that capacity.

Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Pfannenstiel returns to 10th Group after serving as the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) command sergeant major.

During the ceremony, 10th Group's deputy commander, Col. Thomas Vogel, spoke about the type of leader Sandoval was for the Soldiers of 10th Group.

"He trained himself his body, his mind, his spirit to achieve readiness for war," Vogel said. "Critically important, he lives a daily life of integrity and values."

Sandoval was originally assigned to 10th Group as a specialist in 1990 when it was still located in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. When he arrived, he was the youngest Green Beret in 10th Group. Since then, he has served in every level of leadership in the unit from team sergeant to company and battalion sergeant major.

Sandoval thanked the families, his mentors, leaders, and the staff of 10th Group during his remarks. He also expressed his gratitude to the Soldiers and noncommissioned officers in Group.

"You're what this organization is about," Sandoval said. "Every echelon of command, from company level and above, is here to empower you. You're the primary reason we exist."

"There's something to be said for selfless service and I thank you very much," Sandoval said.

Throughout his time as senior enlisted advisor, 10th Group saw its mission shift focus from the U.S. Africa Command to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility. 10th Group also transitioned Special Operations Command Forward Eastern Europe from a battalion to a group-level headquarters, allowing 10th Group to rapidly accomplish Special Operation Command Europe's objectives in the region.

"These accomplishments do not happen by accident," Vogel said. "They happen by the consistent, exceptional efforts of professionals. Sergeant Major Sandoval is one of those professionals."

Before leaving, Sandoval offered one last piece of advice to the men and women of 10th Group.

"If you're a leader, be a leader," Sandoval said. "If you're in charge, be in charge. If you're not in charge, be prepared to be in charge because you never know when it will happen to you."

Pfannenstiel also has deep ties to 10th Group. He arrived to the group in 1994 as a special forces communications sergeant, and has spent the majority of his 27-year career in 10th Group. He has served in multiple leadership positions in unit including company fist sergeant, operations sergeant major, and company sergeant major.

At the ceremony, Pfannenstiel reiterated his expectations for the Soldiers of 10th Group.

"I believe that true respect is earned," said Pfannenstiel. "My mission is to earn the respect of all the superiors, subordinates, and peers alike in this unit. I would charge all of you to keep that mantra."

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