New command sergeant major of the Arizona Army National Guard to focus on Soldier skills

New command sergeant major of the Arizona Army National Guard to focus on Soldier skills

Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Powers receives the Noncommissioned Officer’s Sword from Brig. Gen. William Hall, land component commander for the Arizona Army National Guard, during the change of responsibilities ceremony held in the Allen Readiness Center here Aug 3. Powers is the tenth command sergeant major of the Arizona Army National Guard. (National Guard photo by Sgt. Lauren Twigg)

PHOENIX - The enlisted members of the Arizona Army National Guard welcomed their tenth state command sergeant major at a change of responsibilities ceremony here Aug 3.


Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Powers will serve as the advisor to the Arizona Army National Guard’s land component commander for Army enlisted-related issues; focusing specifically on training, care and professional development of strong leaders.


“My number one goal is for the Soldiers to have fun. Not ‘joking around’ fun - they will do that on their own,” Powers said. “What I mean is that training hard is fun; and I want Soldiers to conduct meaningful training every drill weekend.”


“It is fun to shoot, move and communicate, and it is fun to conduct air assault missions. This is why Soldiers join the Guard. We need to let them be Soldiers.”


Since assuming his position July 1, Powers traveled throughout Arizona to observe training and talk to Soldiers about the future of the Arizona Guard.


Powers said he wants Guard members get back to the basics of the Soldier’s Creed and ensure that they live by the creed in all aspects of their lives, not just while wearing the uniform.


“We all know the Soldiers Creed. If we apply it at home, during training, and at work, we will find success and complete our missions at the highest proficiencies,” he said.


Powers began his active duty Army career in 1986 and joined the Arizona Army National Guard in 1997, serving as a UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief. He rose through the ranks serving as a first sergeant for Alpha and Delta Companies, both for the 1-285th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, and served as command sergeant major for the 198th Regional Support Group, the 215th Regional Training Institute, and the 98th Troop Command.


His deployments include Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, in Iraq, and Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan. He also deployed with special operations units during Operation Gothic Serpent, in Somalia, and Operation Uphold Democracy, in Haiti.


“During his deployment in Afghanistan Command Sgt. Maj. Powers was a great leader because he was very approachable and always willing to answer questions,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Jones, who deployed with Powers in 2006-2008. “He prepared me to be a better noncommissioned officer because I could take his leadership style and apply it to my leadership with my troops.” 


Powers said he challenges the leaders of the Arizona Guard to afford Soldiers every opportunity to conduct their military operation specialty.


“Soldiers do not join the Guard to watch PowerPoint presentations,” he said. “They join to be Soldiers and we need to give them time to train.”


He is currently on a military leave of absence from his civilian employer, Robertson Fuel Systems, based in Tempe.


“I am extremely grateful to Robertson Fuel Systems, for their support of my military career and for their support of the Soldiers in the Arizona Army National Guard, by allowing me to take this time to serve as the command sergeant major of the Arizona Army National Guard,” Powers said.


He and his wife Stephanie reside in Tempe with sons Anthony and Johnny. Powers holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ashford University and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.