FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Hawley took responsibility as the 29th Infantry Division’s top noncommissioned officer from Command Sgt. Maj. Daryl Plude during a change of responsibility ceremony Aug 5, 2023, at the Long Parade Ground, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia, presided over the ceremony which included an exchange of colors symbolically representing the transfer of authority from Plude to Hawley.
“Today we look forward to the great things that are ahead with this great division,” said Ring. “Pick up a newspaper any day, and we will see that there are always ill actors and truly evil nation-states that choose to take freedoms away from others. Your leadership and service is even more needed today as it was in 1917 when this division was formed.”
Hawley previously served as the second command sergeant major for the 91st Cyber Brigade. Prior to that posting, he served as the command sergeant major for the 124th Cyber Protection Battalion. In 2019, he mobilized with his battalion and served as the Task Force Echo command sergeant major to Fort Meade, Maryland in support of U.S. Cyber Command and Army Cyber Command.
Hawley first enlisted into the U.S. Army in 2000 and has served in the Virginia Army National Guard and U.S. Army for more than 23 years. Upon joining the Army, he was assigned to 233rd MP Detachment at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and served a tour in Yongsan, Korea, in 2004, before joining the Virginia Army National Guard in 2005. He served as a team leader within the 229th MP Company in Virginia Beach. He transferred to the 266th MP Company in Manassas, Virginia where he served as a squad leader and a platoon sergeant and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008.
Plude has served as the 29th Infantry Division’s command sergeant major since 2021, mobilizing in 2021 as the command sergeant major Task Force Spartan in support of Operation Spartan Shield where he was responsible for Soldiers spread across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Plude’s next assignment will be serving as the National Guard Advisor at the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas.
“Soldiers are what makes this go,” said Plude. “You are the backbone of what makes all of our ability up here work and we get to stand up here and rejoice, but really the accolades go to what our Soldiers do across the formation.”
Formed in 1918, the 29th Infantry Division saw action in the First World War, participated in the D-Day landings on Omaha Beach during the Second World War, and mobilized thousands of Soldiers to the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa throughout the Global War on Terror.
While highlighting his priorities for the Soldiers of the 29th Infantry Division, Hawley emphasized the need for noncommissioned officers to facilitate training and promote combat readiness throughout the ranks.
“I need you to provide realistic and challenging training and train your Soldiers until they can't get it wrong when under stress. Teach them to be decision makers and critical thinkers, identify high trust, high performers, and prepare them for more responsibility. This is how we build resilient teams and squads and the best warfighters in the world,” said Hawley. “We are going to be ready when our adversaries knock on our nation's door and when our nation calls on the 29th Infantry Division to open that door. We will open that door just like our brothers did on June 6, 1944, and attack our enemy with a relentless and overwhelming display of force, because we are the 29th Infantry Division and winning matters.”