The battalion has six units in seven locations: Headquarters Company in Cape Girardeau, Forward Support Company in Cape Girardeau, 880th Engineer Haul Team in Perryville, 1138th Engineer Sapper Company in Farmington and Fredericktown, 220th Engineer Company in Festus, and 1438th Multi-Role Bridge Company in Macon and Kirksville.
During a ceremony, the battalion's noncommissioned officers sword was passed to Rooker to symbolize the transfer of authority and responsibility.
"Thanks for the opportunity to be command sergeant major of the best battalion in the state," said Rooker, speaking to the battalion's leadership. "The confidence you have in me to be the command sergeant major, I hope to live up to that honor."
Lt. Col. Ed Gargas, commander of the 1140th, said no better Soldier could have been chosen and he's looking forward to the upcoming years.
"I can't be more proud then to have a Soldier who came up through our own ranks to be singled out for this position," said Gargas. "It's Woody who put himself here today -- all the dedication and hard work that brought him here."
Rooker thanked his Family, fellow Soldiers, commanders and leadership for supporting him throughout his career, and pledged to continue and push the battalion's high records and achievements.
"I promise to do the best I can do," said Rooker. "Teamwork is the biggest thing in my guidebook. Let's be the best team to be the best battalion in this state."
Rooker enlisted in the Missouri National Guard in 1974 with the 1140th Engineer Battalion. Over the years he has had leadership positions with several of the battalion's units, motor sergeants, maintenance platoon sergeant and company first sergeant. He deployed with Company B, 1140th Engineer Battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2005.
He has been deployed in support of humanitarian missions in Panama, Honduras and Guatemala, and deployed in support of state emergency duties for flooding, snow, tornadoes and hurricanes, including in 2005 to Louisiana in support of Operation Hurricane Katrina relief.
He brought essential contribution and leadership to the 1140th Forward Support Company to win the coveted Army Award for Maintenance Excellence in 2010, and to the Field Maintenance Shop #3, where he works fulltime as a surface maintenance mechanic, to win the award in 2011.
Rooker is supported in his military career by his wife, Debbie, his children Jeremy Henson, Gary Rooker, Crystal Henson Sides, Sherry Rooker Clark, Jennifer Rooker Lemonds, and his 13 grandchildren.
For more pictures of 1st. Sgt. Haskel Rooker's change of responsibility ceremony visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/missourigua...
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