FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Command Sgt. Maj. Hu Rhodes returns "home" for service as the command sergeant major for U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and as the senior enlisted leader for Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis.

Rhodes originally joined the U.S. Army in 1975; after completing his tour of duty, he left the service and then rejoined a decade later in 1988. Little did he know then that his career in the Army would become a life-long service.

It is all the more gratifying that he returns to San Antonio, Military City USA, which he calls home. In fact, he is a graduate of San Antonio's Douglas MacArthur High School.

"My father was in the Army, and he was stationed here at Fort Sam Houston for his final assignment. He was a Huey pilot for President Lyndon B. Johnson," said Rhodes. "It's good to be back."

His father, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hu Rhodes, lost his life while serving during the Vietnam War.
Rhodes began his career as an infantryman, and he spent more than one-half of his career serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He said he enjoyed his mission, which was instrumental in his decision to stay and make the military his career.

"I joined because it was a good fit for my skills and ability at that time," explained Rhodes. "I like being a Soldier -- the patriotism and emotion involved around it; and, as a Soldier, I like serving my country."

Rhodes said he was fortunate to be able to learn and develop under a number of strong leaders, each of whom were instrumental, in their own ways, in helping to enhance his military knowledge and in helping to develop his leadership skills.

"I've had several mentors at different times and locations throughout my entire career," said Rhodes. "I've made it on the shoulders of some great Soldiers -- all noncommissioned officers senior to me in rank."

He said he is excited and ready to fulfill his responsibilities inherent in his role as the command's senior enlisted leader.

"As I come into the position, I realize I've been in long enough to watch the way we train and the changes we make in leadership. Every change we have made in the way we train leaders has been for the right reasons with good results," said Rhodes.

Even though he has seen an era of transformation across the board for the military, Rhodes said some things never change.

"It's no secret that changes are coming, but Soldiers still need capable leaders and quality mentors," he said. "I want to challenge all NCOs and all leaders to be open to what makes you and this command successful.

"We have great men, women and civilians serving our country right now, and they deserve the best leadership that we can provide. I want what's best for this command and its members, and I'm committed not to change things but to make them better.

Prior to assuming his duties with U.S. Army North, Rhodes served as the command sergeant major of U.S. Army Africa. He succeeded Command Sgt. Maj. David Wood during a Change of Responsibility ceremony Nov. 28 at the historic Quadrangle.