Brian Hill

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 14, 2021) — The 3rd Chemical Brigade bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Arzabala and welcomed incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Johnson during a change-of-responsibility ceremony today on Gammon Field.

Col. Adam Hilburgh, brigade commander, was the reviewing officer for the ceremony. He said Arzabala has been “a phenomenal leader and teammate of the brigade.”

“He is a consummate professional who lives by the (Noncommissioned Officer) Creed and is an example of a leader who lives by the focus of character first, positive leadership and no short cuts,” Hilburgh said. “His words and actions have shown he’s absolutely committed to the mission and our Soldiers.”

Hilburgh said he’s excited to welcome Johnson to the brigade, who he called the right mix of Special Operations Forces, U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command experience.

“He is no stranger to this environment, previously serving as a drill sergeant leader, and before that, as a drill sergeant, right over there,” Hilburgh said, pointing in the direction of his brigade’s training and barracks areas.

Arzabala — who is next slated to take responsibility as the command sergeant major of the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland — said he is extremely proud of the brigade’s accomplishments during his tenure.

“The best part of any day is seeing you in action: molding, shaping and influencing our trainees,” he said.

Johnson is “the right leader for this brigade,” Arzabala added.

“I am happy, not because I am leaving, but rather knowing you will continue to take care of this stellar outfit,” he said.

Johnson comes to Fort Leonard Wood after serving as the command sergeant major of the 110th CBRN Battalion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He said it is his sincere honor and distinct privilege to serve as the brigade’s 11th command sergeant major.

“I promise, in this role I will uphold our profession’s covenant between the leader and the led and commit to being unemotionally focused in enforcing policies, regulations and directives,” he said. “I look forward to maintaining the excellent relationships this brigade has nurtured for many years, and I will continue to personally invest in these relationships and enable our organization to endure any challenge.”

Incoming 3rd Chemical Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Johnson (center) accepts the brigade colors from Col. Adam Hilburgh (left), brigade commander, as outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Arzabala looks on, during a change-of-responsibility ceremony today on Gammon Field. (Photo by Brian Hill)


About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: