17th Sergeant Major of the Army Letter to the Force

By Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael R. WeimerSeptember 27, 2023

Army Teammates,

I am humbled and honored to serve as your Sergeant Major.

I appreciate the opportunity to earn your respect, as well as earn the respect and confidence of Army senior leaders.

We serve in the greatest Army in the world. Our Army earned this reputation on the shoulders of generations of professional Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). Our NCO corps is unique and envied around the world. Sustaining this reputation requires dedication and commitment. I join every NCO in our Army in living up to the expectations associated with modeling what right looks like every day. I will not forget, nor will I allow my fellow NCOs to forget, that we are professional warfighters.

Remaining true to our NCO creed and Army Values, my two basic responsibilities remain to accomplish my mission and take care of my Soldiers. Taking care of Soldiers requires personal discipline… knowing the standards, adhering to the standards, and being honest with ourselves when we fall short. Personal discipline requires personal courage. Personal courage is a choice… and personal discipline is necessary to achieve organizational discipline that results in ready lethal units.

Taking care of Soldiers also requires training them to perform their responsibilities necessary to fight, survive, and win. In every case, brilliance at the basics sets the foundation to tackle complex problems. Effective training meets published standards, pushes capabilities, challenges decision-making skills, builds teams, and inspires confidence. Invest in your own personal development and invest in developing your subordinates.

Our Army functions best when leading through Command teams. NCOs are essential to any successful command team… Absent an NCO, it’s not a command team. Leading through command teams allows NCOs at every echelon to be critical thinking problem solvers who inspire trust.

As we prepare to fight and win on any distant battlefield, the NCO long remains the steadfast cornerstone of our Army, and unquestionably remains the heart and soul of our formations. The NCO also remains our true source of competitive advantage against any adversary. Technology is a valuable enhancer to our profession, but it is and always will be our NCOs who lead, train, and inspire young Americans to embrace a warrior mindset shaped by the Army Values and the profession of arms… ensuring tomorrow’s victory.

Lead, develop, and care for our Soldiers.

This we’ll defend.

Michael Weimer


17th Sergeant Major of the Army Letter to the Force (PDF)