When Darnell O. Cabell was growing up in Flint, Michigan, he wanted to play for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, and never thought about joining the U.S. Army.
Today, he's the first U.S. Army Finance and Comptroller Sergeant Major assigned to the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management & Comptroller (ASA FM&C).
"I was a pretty good basketball player, but not a good student," Cabell said. "I thought about my future and realized being a Soldier could be the most rewarding job for me, so I enlisted in the Army."
In his role, Sgt. Maj. Cabell serves as the most senior enlisted advisor to the finance and comptroller field, working alongside Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Horlander, Army Comptroller and Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management & Comptroller, who is responsible for overall FC operations.
"Sgt. Maj. Cabell is a full-spectrum Finance & Comptroller Soldier and will be an invaluable asset to the Army and our finance profession," said Horlander.
"He will not only provide advice to FC senior leaders and provide guidance and leadership to the Army's FC non-commissioned and enlisted corps, but will advise the Sergeant Major of the Army about the Finance & Comptroller profession, to include helping manage the talent of our senior NCOs."
Cabell is also charged with implementing the strategic vision and innovation, and is the subject matter expert in all areas of FC operations to include personnel manning, force structure, financial systems capability, and training.
He comes to the Pentagon from Fort Shafter, Hawaii where he served as Senior Financial Management Advisor at U.S. Army Pacific from 2018 to late 2019.
From 1999 to 2017, Cabell had consecutive assignments of increasing responsibility with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2017, he was the G-3 Sergeant Major at the U.S. Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Cabell's first assignment in the Army was as a Finance Specialist in the 1st Finance Battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas from 1992-1995.
Looking back at his career, Cabell explained how he knew joining the Army was the right decision.
"When I was assigned to Fort Riley, it was my first time away from home, but I was so proud to wear my uniform. I knew the Army was the right place for me and wanted to make it a career," he said.
"Where else could I get an education, training, travel, great benefits and wear the best uniform in the world? In the United States Army!"