WCT bids farewell to Staff Sgt. Carlton Duncan, epitome of a Non-Commissioned Officer

WTU Force Structure Staff Sgt. Carlton Duncan (second from left) along with (left to right) Col. Matthew St. Laurent, Deputy Chief of Staff, Warrior Care and Transition, Master Sgt. Teresa Shoals-Green, and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Smith display a farewell plaque presented to Duncan for his service to Warrior Care and Transition, January 9, 2017. (Photo credit Lt. Col Luis Fregoso)

By John M. Rosenberg, Warrior Care and Transition

January 13, 2017 – Inside the packed confines of a conference room within the Arlington, Virginia headquarters of the United States Army Medical Command’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Warrior Care and Transition, Staff Sgt. Carlton Duncan’s service to America’s wounded, ill and injured Soldiers was celebrated amid tears and lighthearted laughter

Within WCT and its predecessor organization, the Warrior Transition Command, Duncan served as a pillar in the adaptive reconditioning program for Soldiers carrying out their recovery while assigned to a Warrior Transition Unit. As the outgoing non- commissioned officer in charge of adaptive reconditioning, Duncan will now take a post at the Pentagon supporting the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army.

“Staff Sgt. Duncan is the epitome of a non-commissioned officer,” said Tom Webb, executive director for Warrior Care and Transition “He cares, and that’s what this is all about— taking care of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.”

This echoes the sentiments expressed by his battle buddy, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Smith, a former Team Army athlete and a teammate of Duncan supporting the adaptive reconditioning program. In paying homage to his close associate, Smith termed Duncan “a brother.” His tribute was all the more poignant as both Smith and Duncan had endured traumatic injuries yet persevered by returning to duty.

“Both of us were assigned to a Warrior Transition Battalion, and we both discovered adaptive reconditioning and saw what it could do in our own lives, as well as in the lives of others,” said Smith. “We wanted to come here and to tell our stories, so that other wounded, ill and injured could see the success that we had and use it as a blueprint of how life can be.”

“As they say, cream rises to the top, and Staff Sgt. Duncan is an excellent example of this,” said Lt. Col. Luis Fregoso, Synchronization Directorate Deputy at WCT. “His sense of professionalism is taking him to the Pentagon where he can have a positive effect upon the well-being of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers at a much higher level.”

Duncan believes he has played an important role in creating a legacy program, one in which adaptive reconditioning receives its proper due.

In doing so Duncan feels as if he’s on a journey, saying “I’m coming in with that mentality, whereby I’ve done this and that, I’ve achieved many things. Though I’m coming out of a combat arms background, my mission has changed, but it’s an important mission nonetheless.”

Duncan was born into a large family, one that was very athletic and full of competition. “Like many Americans, I always enjoyed the spirit of competition,” says Duncan. “I am always striving to achieve more. In being so successful at Warrior Games and Invictus it’s as if I was setting a course of things to come.”

Duncan’s assignment is an all-important role supporting the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, where he expects to advocate for the support of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and the warrior care and transition program in addition to his other duties.

“I came out of this hard charging environment in combat arms and as a parachute infantryman,” says Duncan. “I’m prepared for the unexpected. What I am going to do in this new role is to put my best foot forward and share my insight as to this mission.”

Duncan is a native of southern California. He has a wife along with two boys and two girls.