Historic Change of Leadership at U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy

What is it'

On June 29, 2009 the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy will make history with one simple, early morning ceremony. On that day the USASMA will come under the leadership of a Command Sergeant Major as its commandant for the first time in the academy's history.

What has the Army done'

In October 2008, the secretary of the Army declared that 2009 would be the Year of the Noncommissioned Officer. He and other top Army leaders, in a tri-signed letter, acknowledged that "today's NCOs operate autonomously, with confidence and competence... NCOs lead the way in education, in training and in discipline." As recognition of the NCO Corps' accomplishments in education, training and leadership, TRADOC directed USASMA leadership to look at eliminating officers positions within NCOES schools.

"So Gen. (Martin E.) Dempsey (TRADOC commander) said he wanted to take a look at this... and that's what we have done," said Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler, incoming Commandant. "We showed him how we are going to accomplish what he wants which is empowering noncommissioned officers with their education system and put them in control of that as a part of the Army's Leader Development Strategy; and to also recognize in this Year of the NCO the fact that the corps has developed the knowledge and skills and attributes to take on this mission."

Chandler notes that the early USASMA graduates had, on average, an eighth grade education. Today, over 95 percent of graduates have some type of college degree.

Why is this important to The Army'

This change of leadership ceremony marks the beginning of a new era in Academy history; one that recognizes the accomplishments and importance of the Noncommissioned Officer and the Noncommissioned Officer Education System.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future'

This is a permanent change and represents just one of several initiatives to enhance awareness and public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of today's NCO.


Year of the NCO Web site

USASMA Web site