FORT BENNING, Ga. - CSM James C. Hardy will become the second NCO to serve as the senior enlisted for the Maneuver Center of Excellence when he replaces CSM Earl Rice in a change of responsibility ceremony behind Ridgway Hall, Building 35, at 10 a.m. March 29.

Hardy, command sergeant major of the 75th Ranger Regiment, will pass his mantle to CSM Rick Merritt in a ceremony at Fort Benning's Ranger Memorial at 4 p.m. Monday.
In early February, Rice was selected to serve as the command sergeant major of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, N.C.

Hardy entered the Army in 1986 and completed one station unit training, Airborne School and the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Fort Benning before reporting to the 75th Ranger Regiment's A Company, 2nd Battalion at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as a squad leader, team leader, grenadier and gunner.

He has deployed in support of Task Force Ranger, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hardy's previous assignments include command sergeant major of the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regt.; command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regt. at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; and command sergeant major of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Hardy holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and is a graduate of several military schools including the Pathfinder, Jump Master, Air Assault, Sergeants Major and Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape High Risk schools.

Among his awards and decorations, Hardy has earned the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. He is a distinguished member of the 502nd Infantry Regiment and the 187th Infantry Regiment.