TRADOC command sergeant major picked to be next SMA

By Lisa FerdinandoNovember 5, 2014

Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey
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CSM Dailey
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WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 3, 2014) -- The senior enlisted adviser of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has been selected to be the next sergeant major of the Army.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno announced today that Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey will be the 15th sergeant major of the Army. He will assume the Army's highest enlisted office after Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III retires, at the end of January.

"We have the utmost confidence in Command Sgt. Maj. Dailey and look forward to having him join our leadership team," said McHugh. "His experience, leadership, devotion to Soldiers and commitment to our Army make him especially suited to assume this important duty, one that Sgt. Maj. of the Army Chandler has masterfully performed for the last four years."

Dailey, who enlisted 1989, is an infantryman and combat veteran who served four deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom and one in support of Operation Desert Storm.

He said he is humbled by the choice.

"It's every Soldier's dream -- it should be every Soldier's dream -- to someday at least have the opportunity to be the sergeant major of the Army," he said.

He told Odierno that he never "fathomed when I was a young Soldier that I'd ever be in this office receiving this type of recognition."

Dailey holds a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) from Excelsior College.

He said he and his wife of more than 20 years, Holly Dailey, are dedicated to Soldiers and their families.

"This requires a commitment well beyond any that I've ever done before and it requires leadership that frankly Soldiers need to be able to see every day," he said.

"I owe it back to our Soldiers; I have a responsibility -- an awesome responsibility ... that is not looked upon lightly by the Soldiers of the United States Army," he said.

There is a lot of work to do and it is a big responsibility, he said, in carrying on the traditions of Chandler, and in meeting Odierno's expectations and strategic goals.

"The Soldiers of this great Army deserve leadership and the highest caliber of leadership we can offer," he said.

The Army has faced challenging times and there are more challenges ahead, he said.

"What I can assure you is that we are doing the right things. I have been intimately familiar with the policy, procedures and direction that our leadership of the Army is taking us. I truly believe it is the right direction," he said.


Dailey said he is a standards-based sergeant major who is approachable, mission-focused, who takes on challenging assignments, strives for the best, and places the highest priority on physical fitness for himself and his Soldiers.

"It is our job every single day to represent the best we possibly can, not only for us, for our peers and for our superiors, but most importantly for the people of America," he said.

"I'm truly excited as we move forward because I truly believe that we are heading in the right direction in the future," he said.

He credits his mentors for challenging him and helping him make the right decisions.

"I'm the benefactor of excellent leadership," he said.

Engaged leadership is important he said. Good leaders know their Soldiers and their families; it's important that Soldiers have a balance between work and home life, he said.

"I would have never made it to where I am today without my family, and that requires balance between being a Soldier, being a father, and a husband," he said.

Soldiers should not be afraid to reach out for help if they are facing problems, he said.

"I think we're in a time in the Army where we've really gotten rid of that stigma," he said.

"What is great is that we have leaders who say that they need help, and it really shows them young Soldiers that you truly can be successful even though you've asked for help," he said.

It is a great responsibility to be charged with the safety and wellness of Soldiers you lead, he said.

"Somebody has trusted me with their lives," he said.

"I take that very seriously, the four times that I deployed to combat, very seriously ... It's my responsibility to bring them home; every single one of them," Dailey said.

"That's the ultimate responsibility we have, not just to our Soldiers but to the mothers and fathers of this great nation," he said. "I think they would expect us to treat them like their own children."


Dailey, who is from the small, northeastern Pennsylvania town of Palmerton, saw the military as an opportunity for growth and experience.

"I knew that I wanted to join the Army at a young age," he said.

"My father had served in the military, his brothers had served in the military, both of my grandfathers had service during World War II, and my oldest brother before me made the choice to serve in the United States Army," he said.

"It had a big impact on me," he said.

He signed up for the delayed entry program the year before he graduated high school.

"My family was in complete support of it," he said. "I was 16 years old when I made the choice to join the military."

During his first tour, which was in Germany, he realized that he wanted to make a career of the Army.

"Originally I only came in for a short period of time, but the Army grew on me, and I said 'I want to do this thing for the rest of my life,'" he said.

However, a life in the military is not easy with multiple deployments, separation from loved ones, and tough assignments, he said.

He persevered with "hard work, discipline, and dedication," and the various leadership positions throughout his career helped prepare him for his next assignment, he said.

"The great thing about the United States Army is that a young kid from northeastern Pennsylvania in the middle of nowhere can come in here and become the sergeant major of the Army," he said.


"My time with my family is sacred," said Dailey, who, like many Soldiers, has been separated from family due to long deployments.

Being away from his wife and son was difficult, but "we took one day at a time."

Holly, his "hometown sweetheart," became active in family readiness groups and the support of those groups helped both Dailey and his wife cope.

"Getting through each one of those deployments, even four of them back-to-back, some as long as 15 months, was working with those families and sharing the challenges that are associated with being deployed, especially multiple deployments for extended periods of time," he said.


Dailey enlisted in the Army in 1989, and attended Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training as an 11B (Infantryman) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

His initial assignment was to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany, where he served as a radio telephone operator and rifleman, and then participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

After returning from Desert Storm, he remained in the 15th Infantry Regiment and was promoted to the rank of sergeant, where he served as both a team leader and a commander's gunner, until 1993.

Upon completing his tour in Germany, he was reassigned to the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and served as a Bradley commander and a battalion master gunner, from 1993 to 1996.

He was then reassigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, at Camp Casey, Korea, where he served as a section leader and was later promoted to sergeant first class. After completing his 12-month tour in Korea, in 1997, he was reassigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

While at Fort Stewart, he served as the Primary Leadership Development Course senior instructor, and later as a platoon sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, from 1998 to 2000. In 2001, he was reassigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado, where he served as a platoon sergeant.

While at Fort Carson, he was promoted to first sergeant and assumed responsibility of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment and later Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, where he deployed his company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from 2003 to 2004.

In 2003, he was selected to attend the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and was promoted to the rank of command sergeant major, in August of 2004.

Dailey was then reassigned back to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, where he served as the battalion senior enlisted adviser, and completed another combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from 2005 to 2006.

In March 2007, he was selected to serve as the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division senior enlisted adviser, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from 2007 to 2009.

In March 2009, he was selected as the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) senior enlisted adviser, where he served as both the top enlisted leader of Fort Carson, Colorado, and U.S. Division-North, Iraq in Support of Operation New Dawn, during his fifth combat deployment.

In August 2011, Dailey was selected to serve as the senior enlisted adviser of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

His military and civilian education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Non-commissioned Officer's Course, the Bradley Master Gunner Course, the Advanced Non-commissioned Officer's Course, the First Sergeants Course, the Force Management Course and the Keystone Course. He is a graduate of class 54 of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and the Command Sergeants Major Course. He also has a bachelor's of science degree (summa cum laude) from Excelsior College.

Dailey's awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, the Bronze Star Medal (3rd award), the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Army Commendation Medal (7th award), the Army Achievement Medal (10th award), the Good Conduct Medal (7th award), the National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), the South West Asia Service Medal (one bronze service star), the Iraq Campaign Medal (five bronze service stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (4th award), the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd award), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), the Drivers Badge (wheel), the Ranger Tab, the Expert Infantryman's Badge, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, The Order of Saint Maurice (Centurion), and he is a member of the Distinguished Audie Murphy Club.

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