When a new first sergeant or command sergeants major becomes the top non-commissioned officer in a company, battalion, brigade, division, or of the entire Army, the ceremony is called a change of responsibility. A sword is passed from the sergeant in charge of the formation to the out-going NCO. He passes the sword to the unit commander, who passes it to the new top NCO who then passes it back to the sergeant at the front of the formation.
I took pictures of the Change of Responsibility Ceremony this past when when CSM Jeff Huttle became the Command Sergeant's Major of 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion in Johnstown, Pa.
Here are the photos as the sword is passed by 1SG Peacock to CSM Sean Livolsi to MAJ Jack Wallace to Huttle then back to Peacock.