Sergeant Major of the Army Wooldridge was a one-of-a-kind noncommissioned officer (NCO) selected to be the first Sergeant Major of the Army because of his initiative, intelligence, experience and drive to excel. His legacy lives on in the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, the centralized NCO promotion system and our professional NCO Corps. He was an innovator, a true inspiration to Soldiers and the epitome of a professional warrior.
- Current Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, paying homage to the first Sergeant Major of the Army William O. Wooldridge, who died at age 89 on Mar. 5, 2012, in El Paso, Texas.
SMA Wooldridge: 'Take care of each man as though he were your own brother. He is.'
SMA Wooldridge traveled wherever Soldiers were stationed to listen to their concerns and dedicated himself to strengthening and preserving the rich history of the NCO Corps 'the backbone of the Army.'
- Command Sgt. Maj. Rory Malloy, commandant of United States Army Sergeant's Major Academy, his wife Deborah, and everyone at the Academy, extends their heartfelt condolences to SMA Wooldridge's wife, Patty, who is also a friend and beloved member of the USASMA family.
SMA William O. Wooldridge
First Army: Training and Readiness of Reserve Components
What is it?
First Army is U.S. Army Forces Command's (FORSCOM) executing agent ensuring Reserve Component forces are fully prepared to meet combatant commanders' requirements, and plays a strategic role in training, mobilizing, validating, deploying and demobilizing RC forces supporting overseas contingency operations. First Army begins communicating with RC formations more than a year prior to upcoming deployments to plan, resource and tailor predeployment training to each unit's specified mission. First Army's two subordinate divisions Division East, Fort Meade Md., and Division West, Fort Hood, Texas coordinate and conduct battle-focused, tough, realistic training ensuring combatant commanders receive trained and ready units.
What has the Army done?
Using Observer Coach Trainers (OCT) with combat experience, First Army improves and maintains deploying units' individual and collective skills to support the full range of military operations across multiple theaters. First Army OCTs ensure trained and ready Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are prepared to support COCOM requirements for operations in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sinai Peninsula, Guantanamo Bay, and the Horn of Africa. While First Army has focused on deploying forces in the past, beginning in fiscal year 2013 they will add contingency training to their repertoire, ensuring National Guard Brigades without deployment orders also receive regular, engaging, and realistic training.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned?
Despite budget cuts, our Reserve and National Guard formations will remain strong and more relevant than ever. Across First Army's mobilization training centers, new facilities are being built and old ones improved to provide updated and relevant training opportunities. First Army OCTs continue to collaborate with combatant commanders, returning unit commanders, attend training conferences with U.S. and partner nations, and work closely with the Center for Army Lessons Learned to ensure mobilizing Soldiers receive current and relevant training to be successful in their missions. First Army will continue providing trained and ready forces supporting today's requirements and tomorrow's contingencies.
Why is this important to the Army?
It is crucial that the Army retains experienced Soldiers across the Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard components. First Army incorporates these Soldiers' experiences and provides them with continued training to meet the needs of the Army and the nation. As the Army transitions and downsizes, it is imperative to ensure reserve component forces training continues to meet a set standard, is relevant, and demanding.
First U.S. Army
Div East website
Div West website
First Army Info Pamphlet (PDF)
First Army on Facebook
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