New Sergeant Major of The Army CSM Raymond F. Chandler. See new Army Chief of Staff >
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 1, 2011) — The Army’s 14th sergeant major of
Army was sworn in during a March 1 standing-room-only ceremony in the Pentagon.
Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III, a 30-year veteran, was administered the oath
of office by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
Following the arrival of the official party, Casey welcomed the newest SMA, his wife Jeanne
and their six children to the nation’s capital. Casey then told the audience it was a “great day
to be a sergeant” — which brought on a rousing “hooah” from the crowd.
“As I looked at trying to figure out who the next sergeant major of the Army ought to be, it
was a very difficult task because frankly we have an Army that is replete with talent in our
noncommissioned officer corps, and nowhere is it more pronounced than among our
sergeants major,” Casey said.
Casey outlined Chandler’s career, highlighting his last position, where he was the first
enlisted Soldier to serve as commandant of the Sergeants Major Academy. Chandler had
previously served as the academy’s command sergeant major. The chief said what
impressed him most about Chandler’s career was the series of assignments that
demonstrated such a range of experience in a senior enlisted leader.
“As I looked at what he’d done, it struck me that I hadn’t seen this much versatility in very
many noncommissioned officers,” Casey said, noting his experience in both armor and
Javelin units throughout the world. The general also noted his service as a command
sergeant major during combat in Iraq.
“He brings a great wealth of talent to this position, from the operational side, the installation
side, the institutional side and the Reserve Component side,” Casey said. “He has a deep
understanding of what it means to be a citizen Soldier, and I think he’ll bring that to bear
here as we go forward trying to operationalize the Guard and Reserve.”
Chandler served a three-year tour as an active duty advisor to the 155th Armored Brigade,
Mississippi National Guard, in Tupelo, Miss.
Then Casey offered advice to Chandler: “be a role model for every Soldier. Be a mentor for
every sergeant, and be a hard-nosed adviser to the secretary and me.”
Following administration of the oath, Chandler took the podium, thanking first his family,
friends and senior leaders along with those who had guided him through his career.
“I am humbled,” Chandler said of his selection as SMA. “Many of you I have served with, and
I am a product of your leadership. I’m here because you saw faith in me and counseled me
and coached me and helped me develop into being a professional as part of this profession
“Each of you has upped my life or another noncommissioned officer’s life in some way which
has taken us to this place where our Army is today — we have the best Army that our nation
has ever fielded, there’s no doubt about it,” Chandler said. “But our Army is also tired, and
we have many more miles to travel, so all of us as a family need to look out for one another
and to wrap our hands around those Soldiers and families who have borne the burden of
these many years.
“As the Army’s sergeant major, I will serve as a scout and conduct reconnaissance with the
chief and provide him with information that he can turn into intelligence with the secretary
and make informed decisions for our families and Soldiers so that we can best serve our
nation,” he continued.
“I will do my best. I ask each and every one of you to support every single Soldier and family
that goes in harm’s way, those who are recovering from their wounds and to look out for and
put your arms around those individuals. We can be a very empathetic organization and we
need some empathy for our folks.”
Read CSM Raymond F. Chandler’s Biography > SMA Kenneth O. Preston’s Biography >
Duties of the Sergeant Major of the Army >