FORT RILEY, Kan. – Soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Noyes as the new division command sergeant major during an assumption of responsibility ceremony on Fort Riley, Kansas, Sep. 29, 2023.
Noyes replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Clarence Raby, who assumed the position on Aug. 9, 2023 from then Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Mullinax.
“This division has an incredible history and I am humbled, honored and incredibly excited to be standing before you today as a Big Red One Soldier and your command sergeant major,” said Noyes. “It’s not lost on me the legacy of the Soldiers who came before me in this storied division. From the battlefields of France, to the beaches of the Normandy, to the jungles of Vietnam, to standing watch on the frontier of freedom in Europe, to the deserts of the Middle East.”
A native of Amarillo, Texas, Noyes enlisted in the United States Army in July 1996. He attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as an armor crewman. He has since held every enlisted leadership position in the armor and cavalry branches from tank gunner to brigade command sergeant major. Noyes now adds division command sergeant major to that list.
Noyes served as the command sergeant major of the 194th Armored Brigade, the operations sergeant major for the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade and the command sergeant major of the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
He deployed twice as part of Operation Iraq Freedom, once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and once more in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
He has completed all levels of noncommissioned officer education, while also graduating from the Army Recruiter Course, the M1A1 Master Gunner Course and the Battle Staff Course, to name a few. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human resources from Columbia Southern University.
“The reason I chose sergeant major [Noyes] is for the reasons I have just described,” said Maj. Gen. John V. Meyer III, commander of the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley. “I want somebody who is a leader, who will accept the authority that I have given him and the responsibility that comes with that.”
“I wanted somebody to accomplish what we need to do in the division and that is to focus on our people, focus on gunnery and focus on our maintenance; and this command sergeant major has the right training and experience to help us improve in those areas.”
Since its inception, the noncommissioned officer corps has served an essential role in the United States Army. They are pivotal players in understanding commanders intent and end state and executing key tasks.
“When something happens to us on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the officers are no longer present on that beach because they have been killed, the noncommissioned officer corps steps up and leads the Soldiers off that beach and up that bluff to liberate a continent,” said Meyer. “That’s the authority our NCO Corps has.”
Noyes joins the Big Red One as it prepares to conduct extensive training exercises designed to improve warfighting capabilities alongside multinational allies and partners.
“I promise that I will give my all, every day, to continue to move that legacy forward,” said Noyes. “Danger Seven signing on the net.”
In the coming months, the 1st Inf. Div. will participate in a war-fighter exercise, a capstone training event where the division will exercise systems in simulated large scale combat operations.