Historic Change of Leadership at U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy

Friday June 26, 2009

What is it?

On June 29, 2009 the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy will make history with one simple, early morning ceremony. On that day the USASMA will come under the leadership of a Command Sergeant Major as its commandant for the first time in the academy's history.

What has the Army done?

In October 2008, the secretary of the Army declared that 2009 would be the Year of the Noncommissioned Officer. He and other top Army leaders, in a tri-signed letter, acknowledged that "today's NCOs operate autonomously, with confidence and competence... NCOs lead the way in education, in training and in discipline." As recognition of the NCO Corps' accomplishments in education, training and leadership, TRADOC directed USASMA leadership to look at eliminating officers positions within NCOES schools.

"So Gen. (Martin E.) Dempsey (TRADOC commander) said he wanted to take a look at this... and that's what we have done," said Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler, incoming Commandant. "We showed him how we are going to accomplish what he wants which is empowering noncommissioned officers with their education system and put them in control of that as a part of the Army's Leader Development Strategy; and to also recognize in this Year of the NCO the fact that the corps has developed the knowledge and skills and attributes to take on this mission."

Chandler notes that the early USASMA graduates had, on average, an eighth grade education. Today, over 95 percent of graduates have some type of college degree.

Why is this important to The Army?

This change of leadership ceremony marks the beginning of a new era in Academy history; one that recognizes the accomplishments and importance of the Noncommissioned Officer and the Noncommissioned Officer Education System.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

This is a permanent change and represents just one of several initiatives to enhance awareness and public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of today's NCO.


Year of the NCO Web site

USASMA Web site





Army Professional Writing







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May 25 - July 4: Season of Remembrance

June 2009:

- National Safety Month

June 13 - July 8: 90th Anniversary Transcontinental Motor Convoy trip from D.C. to San Francisco

June 25: Korean War

June 21- 27: U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition

July 2009:

July 4: Independence Day

2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant


"Great security progress has been made in Iraq over the past two years. There remain those who wish to see the new Iraq fail – and who will continue to kill innocent civilians to further this goal, as we have seen in Anbar, Diyala, and Ninewa provinces lately. Success depends, in the final analysis, on the fortitude of the Iraqi people and the leaders they choose. Yet, as the United States responsibly draws down its presence, we look for sustained international and regional support that will allow Iraq to take full charge of its own security and rejoin the family of nations."

- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaking at the U.S. CENTCOM Gulf States Chiefs of Defense Conference

U.S. CENTCOM Gulf States Chiefs of Defense Conference


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"Making the choice to re-enlist with the U.S. Army Reserve is an important decision in a Soldier’s life, especially during a time of conflict. Soldiers choosing to continue their military service show a tremendous amount of loyalty and patriotism to their country. This type of selfless service is commendable and worthy of notice."

- Sgt. 1st Class Kelli Harr on the best “decision she has ever made”

Year of the NCO blog


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