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CSM Guerrero comes home to El Paso, Fort Bliss

By David Burge | El Paso Times, Texas (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 4, 2016

For the new senior enlisted leader with 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, his latest assignment meant “coming home.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Mario F. Guerrero grew up in El Paso and he calls it home. Guerrero, a 47-year-old graduate of Burges High School, took over as the top enlisted soldier for 3-43 ADA on Nov. 3.

“This is home for us,” said Guerrero, whose wife, Raquel, is also from El Paso and is a Burges graduate too. “It’s a great thing for our family.”

Guerrero joins Lt. Col. Scott McLellan of Katonah, N.Y., in giving the 600-soldier Legion Battalion a new command team. McLellan took command Jan. 20.

“I am just extremely proud and humble to be working at this level,” Guerrero said. “Everything we do as leaders, we do for our soldiers and our families. That is really the bottom line.”

Guerrero has been stationed at Fort Bliss twice before. From 2005-2009, he served with the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command and as a battery first sergeant twice -- with 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment and then with 3-43 ADA. He also attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy in 2012-13.

Not only is Guerrero back home in El Paso, but he’s returned to his old battalion.

“I had some great memories when I was a first sergeant in 3-43,” he said. "We had the best battery (Delta) in 3-43."

Most recently, Guerrero served as the operations sergeant major with the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

The Legion Battalion’s next big mission is to modernize and upgrade the Patriot air-defense system.

Guerrero called it the most significant upgrade of the Patriot system in 25 years.

Through a reorganization, the Legion received a battery from sister unit, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, that has already been doing this mission. The rest of the battalion will start the new assignment in April. The modernization mission will last 14 to 18 months.

“Whenever the Army tells me it is time to go (to the next assignment), I want to sit back and say we executed this mission extremely well, did it in accordance with the Army's guidance and expectations and oh by the way, every person in the battalion understood the mission, embraced it and executed it well," Guerrero said.

His top priorities are making sure that soldiers are trained in their warfighting skills, are ready to deploy when called upon and making sure soldiers and family members are taken care of properly.

McLellan, the new battalion commander, said the noncommissioned officer corps is the backbone of the Army and “CSM Guerrero embodies this spirit.”

“He is on a personal mission to make the Legion great and take care of the soldiers and families of this historic unit,” McLellan said. “I couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”

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©2016 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

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