FORT BLISS, Texas — A ceremony held at the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence, marked a change in leadership, the recognition of an outstanding leader, the achievement of the Army Superior Unit Award, and highlighted the ongoing mission at the NCOLCoE and Sergeants Major Academy, June 22.
During a change of commandant ceremony that took place at the Cooper Lecture Center on Fort Bliss, Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Schmidt assumed responsibility of the students, Soldiers, families, and staff of the NCOLCoE and Sergeants Major Academy from Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers.
Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Maranian, Army University provost and Command and General Staff College deputy commandant, presided over the ceremony virtually.
“I want to say thank you to CSM Sellers for his leadership as the Commandant of the Sergeants Major Academy these past three years,” Maranian said. “CSM, you are true professional and I wish nothing but the best as you move on to your next assignment as the Army G4 Sergeant Major.”
Sellers is not only the 22nd NCOLCoE commandant he also holds the distinction of being the first African-American commandant and the first commandant to have a military career field in sustainment since the inception of the Sergeants Major Academy in 1973.
Sellers is an Army leader committed to fostering an environment that promotes discipline and education, while also practicing diversity, equality and inclusion.
Due to this mindset and his extreme commitment to the NCO Corps, during the award portion of the ceremony Sellers received the Army Distinguished Service Medal.
The award citation, “Command Sergeant Major Sellers' innovative enhancements to the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System are unequaled. Under his leadership, the development of enlisted leaders has been revolutionized. For the first time, the NCOPDS has a bachelor's degree accreditation nested in the capstone course, unique in enlisted development within the Armed Forces. Command Sergeant Major Sellers' conspicuous and significant achievements are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect distinct credit upon him, the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, and the United States Army. Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army.”
“I feel blessed, humbled, and honored to have the tremendous opportunity to serve in of the Army’s most prominent NCO positions, in one of the most influential institutions,” Sellers said.
Due to the leadership of CSM Sellers, the NCOLCoE also received the Army Superior Unit Award for a second time. The first award of the ASUA was for 2008-2009, and the current award is for 2018-2019.
“The last three years have been truly amazing,” Sellers said. “It’s been a series of successful events which led us to be recognized by the Army, and awarded the Army Superior Unit Award, for a second time in our rich history.”
The last time the unit received the award was under the direction of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler.
Sellers added, “We did it! “What a significant accomplishment, that speaks volumes to the total body of work the great people of this organization accomplished.
During his final remarks, Sellers thanked members of the team and highlighted the key successes of the institution.
“We successfully drove change for the Army and NCO cohort by getting the Sergeants Major Academy accredited and being able to award 440 Bachelor of Arts degrees in leadership and workforce development,” he said.
Sellers then listed out all the important initiatives the NCOLCoE accomplished over the last three years.
After the award ceremony, the change of commandant ceremony began.
The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence is a singular and unique organization that is led solely by Noncommissioned Officers.
It is the role of the commandant that represents a bench mark of excellence and the Command Sergeants Major who fill this role are the epitome of NCO leaders.
CSM Schmidt embodies this role as the 23rd commandant.
“Where you see yourself is never where you end up,” Schmidt said. “I would have never imagined in a million years that I would have the extreme privilege of serving our Army in this capacity.”
He added, “it is not lost on me the significant importance of this position and what it does to build fit and disciplined leaders for our Army.”
Schmidt commented Sellers monumental traction in the advancement of the NCO professional development system, and his leadership.
Schmidt then provided his words of gratitude to his mentors and thanked Lt. Gen. James Rainey the commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.
“I appreciate the opportunity more than words can describe,” Schmidt said to Rainey. “The chance you have given me to help advance the NCOPD system only comes once in a lifetime, my family and are proud to join the TRADOC team.”
During his final remarks Schmidt thanked the audience for their attendance.
“Thanks to all for their attendance and support of this ceremony, and I am proud to assume the duties as the 23rd commandant of the Sergeants Major Academy and the 5th enlisted commandant of the NCOLCoE!! Army Strong, Ultima, Kill the Virus.”
The NCOLCoE is the premier institution driving innovative development for enlisted leaders; constantly focused on readiness