07 February 2011

US Army Announces Next SMA

The US Army has announced that SGM Raymond Chandler will be the next Sergeant Major of the Army

Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. announced today that Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III will become the sergeant major of the Army March 1.

"We have the utmost confidence in Command Sgt. Maj. Chandler and look forward to having him join our leadership team,” said McHugh. “He has the right qualities and credentials to assume this vitally important duty that Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston has skillfully and adeptly performed for the last seven years."

Chandler is currently the commandant of the U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He will succeed Kenneth Preston, who has served since January 2004.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Chandler is the right soldier to lead our NCO Corps,” Casey said. “He has demonstrated excellence in every position, and has the depth of experiences required to help us lead our Army.”

Chandler will be sworn into the new position March 1 in a ceremony at the Pentagon.

“Being named the 14th sergeant major of the Army is truly an honor,” Chandler said. “I am humbled, yet excited by the opportunity to serve our soldiers and their families in light of the challenges ahead.”

In June 2009, Chandler became the first enlisted commandant of the U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.

In his new position, Chandler will serve as the Army chief of staff’s personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. The role involves extensive travel and focuses on soldier training, noncommissioned officer development and the well-being of families.

The sergeant major of the Army recommends quality-of-life improvements to Army leadership and often sits on councils that make decisions affecting enlisted soldiers and their families. He also routinely testifies before Congress on these issues.

Preston leaves the position as the longest serving SMA after being selected by previous Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker.

“Many of the great CSMs and SGMs serving around the Army today are a product of CSM Chandler's leadership and development efforts,” Preston said. “He brings a broad breadth of experience and I have no doubt he will provide the strategic vision and professionalism long associated with this position.”

Something that jumped out at me was that he's the first enlisted commandant of the U. S. Army Sergeants Major Academy? Who were the previous commandants? Some poor schmuck CPT or MAJ who never had a SGM working for him?

By: Brant


Aaron said...


I work at the Sergeants Major Academy's NCO Museum. All the previous commandants were indeed officers, mostly COLs. There have also been a few LTCs. All had SGMs working for them at USASMA (and presumably, had CSMs as their primary NCO assistant in prior assignments).

CSM Chandler, just prior to being named Commandant at USASMA in 2009, served as USASMA's SGM under COL Donald Gentry. CSM Chandler is actually the third NCO from USASMA to be selected as SMA. Former SMAs Bill Bainbridge and Julius Gates were both USASMA SGMs prior to being selected as SMA.

Hope this helps!

Brant said...

That helps a lot - thanks for filling us in. I just had visions of some poor schlub Major who was hoodwinked into taking a second command tour and ended up spending 3 years just signing leave paperwork for a bunch of SGMs who are quite capable of self-supervision.

Aaron said...

That's part of the reason the position was handed over to NCOs. Obviously, the position entails much more than menial paperwork, and NCOs are slowly becoming more and more responsible for the NCOES at its highest levels. Pretty much every NCO Academy now has an NCO as Commandant.

Because ultimately, who knows better how to manage and improve the system than someone who has been through it? Officers tend to be detached from the system and have less stake in the quality of NCO coming out of the academies.

CSM Chandler is absolutely awesome (and he was pretty involved with our museum), so this can only be a good thing for the NCO Corps!

Thug 5 said...

Amazing - every NCO academy I have seen had a CSM as commandant - why the SMA was different is amazing to me