WASHINGTON D.C. – With the traditional passing of the Army colors, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael R. Weimer officially assumed responsibility as the service’s top enlisted Soldier from outbound Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, Aug. 4.
As the 17th Sergeant Major of the Army, Weimer serves as a spokesperson for the entire force and is the most senior enlisted advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
Weimer brings decades of experience driven by enthusiasm and devotion, recently serving as the command sergeant major of U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Weimer’s Army ties run deep as he comes from a long family lineage committed to selfless service. He grew up hearing his grandfather’s stories and lived the life of a military child while supporting his father’s 26-year career as an Army officer.
He is a self-proclaimed warfighter at heart, having enlisted in 1993 and having earned the Green Beret in 1996, and plans to bring his passion for the profession of arms into the role while prioritizing leader development and culture.
“I love that the noncommissioned officer is the backbone of the United States Army and the envy of the world. I love that,” said Weimer. “I’m not sure I knew the whole concept of why, but once I became a noncommissioned officer and grew in this journey, I saw the uniqueness in the noncommissioned officer corps - there’s none like it.”
As the Army continues to modernize its force, Weimer said he will consciously focus on investing in Soldiers and leaders, an approach which is grounded in the special operations mentality that humans are more important than hardware.
“This is where legacy work happens. We can get a new tank, we can get a new rifle, but legacy work is right here in the peoples’ faces,” said Weimer. He added it takes competence, care, commitment, and character from leaders to help solve problems.
During his tenure, Weimer shared he also aims to set conditions for the Army to reorient and embrace the professional warrior mindset on and off duty and the battlefield.
“The reason we exist is to be the premier warfighters the world has ever seen and to do that you’ve got to be a good teammate,” said Weimer. “You’ve got to take care of your family. You absolutely have to develop yourself. We’ve got to have the right leaders. You’ve got to have the right equipment - it is all anchored to the foundation of warfighting and warfighters.”
Regardless of the many military occupational specialties making up the force, Weimer said he believes one thing is consistent despite varying labels: every Soldier is a warfighter.
“It’s not just for the infantry company,” said Weimer. “It’s everybody on this journey and all the specialties that make the Army the unique, special service it is. We’ve got to articulate that culture, define, coach, mentor, and model that.”
Weimer acknowledged culture does not change overnight and said the first step is leaders taking ownership of the climate they inherit and consistently displaying the values and beliefs which unite every Soldier.
“Climate is something we’re going to get after right here and now,” he said. “Culture is something that is changed over time, so we need to be consistent with our leadership.”
Weimer explained that every morning he is reminded of what fuels consistency in his daily life and serves as a source of discipline and focus.
He shared that when he wakes up at his home in Washington D.C., and gets ready to conduct physical training, he spends those first moments in the morning in reflection while watching the sun rise over Arlington National Cemetery.
“My grandfather is buried there, my grandmother is buried there, and I have a lot of teammates buried in there,” said Weimer.
At this point in his career, he emphasized his morning ritual reminds him to be accountable.
He said when he looks out over the field of white headstones, he asks himself if he is reaching his fullest potential.
“What am I doing today to be all I can be for the Army? Because it’s not all about me. It’s about serving the Army and those who served before us.”
The one piece of advice Weimer said he would continue to pass along to Soldiers as the new Sergeant Major of the Army is the time is always now.
“Your leadership journey is not just your professional journey,” said Weimer. “It is also your personal journey and the sooner you understand the two are inseparable, the sooner you realize you’re developing yourself and the Army daily.”