English Clergyman William Pollard once said, "Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable."

On July 26, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy welcomed the Army's change team, Gen. David Perkins and Command Sgt. Maj. Dave Davenport of Training and Doctrine Command, for the purposes of recognizing some USASMA individuals who are the "change agents" of the new and improved Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System.

Perkins began his address to the Academy staff by noting it was a good day to be at USASMA.

"What you are doing here at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy is quintessentially at the heart of what TRADOC is for," Perkins said. "The Army created TRADOC to change the service, not to keep things 'status quo.'"

Perkins said that USASMA plays a big role in that change and is uniquely designed for change.

"Our NCO Corps is the envy of the world," he said. "We are really taking (NCOPDS) to a new level and a lot of the work is done right here at USASMA. You are the mantle of NCO Professional Development and you need to be the model of change; change for the better; staying on the cutting edge."

Davenport said the changes he envisioned 2 years ago looked at what the Army was going to face in the future. The creation of the Select, Train, Educate and Promote system put into effect a forcing function of getting Soldiers to school, which meant that the schools' curricula needed to change to meet the future as well.

"When they come into that academic environment we are going to challenge them," Davenport said. "We are going to make sure that when they leave, they're changed. They are no longer followers, they are leaders. Today we are going to recognize these great change agents for all the work they have done to get us where we are at now with the curriculum."

With their remarks ended, Perkins and Davenport invited the awardees center stage for their recognition. The first to be recognized were Sgt. Maj. Eugene O'Day and Master Sgts. Jesus Gonzalez and Kevin Kendrick of the Curriculum Development and Education department. The trio were awarded the Army Commendation Medal for their work on the analysis, design and development of six levels of distributive learning, formerly known as structured self-development, and four levels of resident courses. Following the military awards, Perkins and Davenport presented the Commander's Award for Civilian Service to 12 members of the Curriculum Development and Education department for their work on the analysis, design and development of six levels of distributive learning, formerly known as structured self-development, and four levels of resident courses. Receiving the award were Hugo Cantu, Carl Carlson, Dennis G. Earle II, Robert Edwards, Raffaele Francisco, Jason Henderson, Gerardo A. Hernandez, Sharonne J. Jacobs, Reginald B. Mainor, Richard L. Philpott, Roland Reyes Jr., Michael Roth and Gregory Woolfolk.

The USASMA is responsible for developing, maintaining, teaching, and distributing five levels of Enlisted Professional Military Education -- Introductory, Primary, Intermediate, Senior and Executive. Each level best prepares the soldier to fight and win in a complex world as adaptive and agile leaders and trusted professionals of Force 2025.