Story by SSG Shawn Morris on 09/07/2019JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. As Hurricane Dorian departed the nation's eastern seaboard, one east-coast native arrived here to serve as the U.S. Army Reserve's senior non-commissioned officer from Maine to Virginia.
Command Sgt. Maj. John K. Zimmerman, a New York native whose most recent Army assignment was in California, became the 99th Readiness Division's top NCO Sept. 7 during a change-of-responsibility ceremony at division headquarters here.
"I've lived on the east coast my whole life; the northeast was the birthplace of our Army," said Zimmerman, who was a first responder at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. "It's awesome to be back on the east coast and in the northeast."
The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Mark Palzer, 99th DIV(R) commanding general, who explained that Zimmerman would have an expanded role throughout the northeast as part of the 99th's recent designation as a U.S. Army Reserve senior geographic command.
"You'll be working with the CSMs of all the functional commands in the region," Palzer said to Zimmerman during the ceremony. "There is so much that sergeants major can do that we haven't been able to take advantage of until the new structure and authorities came into place in the past couple of months."
"I'm very familiar with the constraints that functional-command command sergeants major have," added Zimmerman, who has served in the Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve for over 35 years. "I've learned a lot from my experiences and look forward to being in a position to assist in the readiness of their formations."
Zimmerman, who has over 24 years of New York State Police criminal investigative experience, succeeded Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Lombardo, a deputy inspector with the New York City Police Department, as the 99th DIV(R)'s top NCO.
"We have 43,000 Soldiers across our supported commands within the 99th DIV(R)'s northeast region," said Lombardo, who has served in the Army for over 33 years. "These Soldiers represent the future of the Army Reserve.
"The readiness of the Army begins and ends with the NCO Corps, who enable this Army to be THE Army," he added.