Full Circle

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Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Sams, 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), passes the Echo Company Guidon to 1st Sgt. Bill Barlow during a company Change of Responsibility ceremony at Camp Gruber, Okla., on October 17, 2015. Photo by Spc. Erick Cravens, 95th Training Division (IET)

TULSA, Okla. — December 1, 2015 will bring a significant life event for Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Sams, 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET). On that date Sams will transfer to the Retired Reserve bringing a close to an exceptional 26-year career. 

Sams began his career in 1989 on active duty as a Chemical Operations Specialist assigned to the 4th Battalion, 7th FA and 2nd Battalion, 32nd FA (MLRS), stationed in Giessen, Germany. He served for three years on active duty.

In 1995, Sams left the IRR to join the 1st Battalion, 89th Regiment (later 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment) as a Drill Sergeant Candidate, graduating Drill Sergeant School in 1996 as the Honor Graduate of Class 2-R-96. He served in the same battalion as a Drill Sergeant Candidate, drill sergeant, Senior Drill Sergeant, first sergeant and command sergeant major.

Lt. Col. Phillip Taylor, 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), presents a gift to Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Sams, 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), from the Soldiers of the battalion, a custom #7 Thunder jersey signifying Sams’ call sign, Thunder 7, on October 17, 2015.  Photo by Spc. Erick Cravens, 95th Training Division (IET)

Sams was the battalion’s Drill Sergeant of the Year three times and he logged over 30 weeks of trail time as a drill sergeant and a first sergeant in the Initial Entry Training environment. He directly impacted over 1000 IET Soldiers while training at Fort Sill, Fort Benning, Fort Knox and Fort Lewis.

Drill Sgt. (Staff Sgt.) Lisa Capocci, Charlie Co., 2/415th, 95th Training Division (IET), Sacramento, Calif., and Pfc. Allisun Capocci after Allisun Capocci’s, Delta Co., Lighting Bn., provisional, graduates Basic Combat Training, Sept. 2015. Allisun Capocci has since graduated AIT earning her MOS as a 42A, and is now stationed at Camp Humphrey, South Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. Courtesy photo

In his final remarks to the entire unit, Sams told the drill sergeants and Soldiers of the battalion that he was looking forward to his retirement, but he would miss the camaraderie that comes with being in the Army. Drill Sergeant Candidate, Cpl. Brian Clapper said, “It just won’t be the same without Command Sgt. Maj. Sams.”

(from left to right) Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier Jr., commanding, Fort Jackson, S.C. and the U.S. Army Training Center, Pfc. Allisun Capocci, Drill Sgt. (Staff Sgt.) Lisa Capocci, Charlie Co., 2/415th, 95th Training Division (IET), Sacramento, Calif., and Post Command Sgt. Maj. William D. Hain, Fort Jackson, S.C. Allisun Capocci’s, Delta Co., Lighting Bn., provisional, graduates Basic Combat Training, Sept. 2015. Courtesy photo

Allisun Capocci is being honored by Cloutier and Hain for earning Soldier of the cycle, high PT award [344 extended scale] and being promoted to private first class. Cloutier expressed that he had never seen a mother/daughter drill sergeant /Soldier pairing in all his years of service. It was an honor to be photographed and added to his Facebook page.

Sams will continue his civilian career as a School Resource Officer for the Tahlequah, Oklahoma Public School System and he will enjoy spending additional time with his Family. First Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), will hold a Change of Responsibility ceremony on December 5, 2015 between Sams and Master Sgt. Erik Kropf, the interim command sergeant major until a replacement is formally selected.

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