FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, announced today, Command Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas Jr. will become the 12th Command Sgt. Maj. of the United States Army Reserve.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas has proven himself in peace and war. He has consistently demonstrated the leadership, values, and character we have come to expect from our NCO Corps. He understands and has experienced all aspects of the Army Reserve - military and civilian. He knows the challenges of balancing support to the nation as a reserve soldier, while maintaining a civilian career and keeping family always in focus. He will simply be great -- and I am proud to have him on the team!" said Talley.

Thomas is currently the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, Ky. He will succeed Command Sgt. Maj. James M. Lambert, acting Command Sgt. Maj. since November of 2012.

"In my 29 years, the Army Reserve has never been so well equipped and well trained as they are today," Thomas said. "I am looking forward to getting started as soon as possible."

Looking forward to a future of maintaining operational readiness in the Army Reserve as resources become more constrained, Thomas stated he welcomes the challenge. "It's going to be different than what I've done before. I've been standing in front of, in, or behind formations since 1988."

Throughout his military career, Thomas served in numerous active duty and reserve component leadership positions, including Command Sgt. Maj. at the group, brigade, and division level.

His military and civilian education includes Primary Leadership Development Course, Drill Sergeant School, Infantry Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Infantry Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Battle Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Course, Sergeants Major Course, Class 55, Command Sergeants Major Course, Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, and the Transition Training Team Course. He holds an Associate Degree from Midlands Technical College, a Bachelors Degree from North Carolina State University and a Master's Degree from Touro University International.

A native of Laurinburg, N.C., and a graduate of Scotland High School, Thomas then enlisted in the Army and completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Thomas deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and mobilized in support of Task Force Katrina.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (6), Army Achievement Medal (4), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (6), National Defense Medal w/Bronze Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO (ISAF) Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officers Ribbon w/Number 4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (2), Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/M and Silver Hourglass, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Drill Sergeant Badge.

Thomas will be sworn into the new position during a change of responsibility ceremony at the Pentagon on April 30, 2013.