Army's largest command welcomes new Command Sergeant Major
July 13, 2010
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. (July 13, 2010) -- Guns fired in salute as the Army's largest command welcomed its 16th Command Sergeant Major during a change of responsibility ceremony in front of U.S. Army Forces Command's headquarters here, July 12.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald T. Riling succeeded Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis M. Carey, who is retiring, following 33 years of active service to the nation, the last four years of which were at FORSCOM.
Riling comes to FORSCOM from First Army where he had served as its Command Sergeant Major since June 2007.
Gen. James D. Thurman, commanding general of FORSCOM, hosted the ceremony. During his remarks, he praised the Noncommissioned Officer Corps; "I believe the noncommissioned officers are the glue holding the all volunteer Army together."
During his remarks, Carey expressed how much he hates to leave, because there is still a lot of work to be done. He said he is confident Riling will handle the responsibility admirably, though.
Riling spoke of his enthusiasm to work with Gen. Thurman and about his respect for his predecessor, "I appreciate all the support and all the words of wisdom," he said.
FORSCOM's commanding general also praised his incoming senior enlisted advisor, "Command Sergeant Major Riling is the right man, in the right place at the right time," said Thurman. Then, to the Soldiers and civilian staff of FORSCOM, Thurman said of Riling, "You are in good hands."
Riling began his Army career in 1983 as a Cavalry Scout, completing initial entry and advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Ky., before he was assigned as a squad leader in 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, at Fort Campbell, Ky.
His next operational assignment was at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served in the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry, as both a section sergeant and later as a platoon sergeant. He was then assigned to Fort Jackson, S.C., where he served as a drill sergeant for two years. From there, it was on to Fort Polk, La., where was assigned to the Joint Readiness Training Center's "Opposing Force," the 1st/509th Infantry. Then, it was back to Fort Bragg where Riling served as 1st Sgt. of B Company, 3rd/73rd (Airborne) Armor Battalion.
Next up for Riling was Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Infantry Division, at Camp Garry Owen, Republic of Korea, where he served as first sergeant. From there, he returned to the United States, serving for a year as the Purdue University Sergeant Major before attended the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.
After graduating from the academy, Riling was assigned as the command sergeant major of 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry, in the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. His next assignment took Riling to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he served as the Command Sergeant Major of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Two years after that, he became the command sergeant major of the 4th Infantry Division where he served until his assignment at First Army.
Riling's military education includes Basic Reconnaissance Training; Air Assault School; Rappel Master School; Airborne School; Jumpmaster School; Pathfinder School; Ranger School; Drill Sergeant School; Northern Warfare Training Course; Scout Reconnaissance Surveillance Course; Jungle Operations Training Course; Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) School; Primary Leadership Development Course; the Basic and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Courses; First Sergeant Course; and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.
He has an associate degree in applied science from Regents College and a bachelor degree in business administration from Touro University.
Riling's awards and decorations include: Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with 4th Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal with Silver Clasp and 3rd Loop, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Drill Sergeant Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Australian Parachutist Badge and the Order of St. George.