Tobyhanna Army Depot, PA –
Sgt. Maj. Eric Cherry can sum up his time at Tobyhanna Army Depot in one sentence: "Time flies while you're doing good work."
Cherry will relinquish his responsibility as the depot's senior enlisted advisor on December 4. He says he's doing so with a heavy heart and a sense of wonder about how fast his sixteen-month assignment flew by.
"This was the quickest assignment I've ever had -- and certainly one of the most enjoyable," he said, adding that his entire family enjoyed being a part of the depot community.
The Sgt. Maj.'s time at the depot was just one stop in a long and successful Army career. He attended basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and had the opportunity to travel the world during his enlistment. Notable assignments include Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Mannheim, Germany; Camp Zama, Japan; and four deployments to Southwest Asia. Although Tobyhanna was far from the most exotic assignment Cherry had, he was excited to return to the Northeast -- his boyhood home.
He said, "Coming to Tobyhanna allowed me to show my kids what my childhood was like in Delaware. I was really excited about that."
Sgt. Maj. Cherry says the highlight of his assignment was getting to represent the depot at community events, noting these public outings pushed him out of his comfort zone. He cited the Warfighter of the Quarter presentations at Pocono Raceway and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey games as most meaningful because the people at the depot and in Northeastern Pennsylvania have a unique perspective on the military.
"People here have a bigger sense of pride and appreciate the Warfighter. I never felt like I was another face in uniform," he explained. "That made me feel like I was doing something important."
His next assignment will be as the Command Sergeant Major for the HHBN XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After that, the Sgt. Maj. says he'll go wherever the Army tells him to go. But, regardless of where Cherry goes next, he promises he won't forget the depot and says we will always have him as a major advocate in the field.
"No matter where I go in the future, I will always tell people that Tobyhanna Army Depot is the best-kept secret in the Army." He went on to note that his priority will be helping depot maintenance forward employees build stronger relationships with the Fort Bragg community.
When asked for his parting thoughts, Cherry said, "I want to sincerely thank every member of Team Tobyhanna for their hard work. Without them, I truly don't believe I would have this new opportunity. I will always miss Tobyhanna -- but I certainly won't miss the weather!"