skip to content

Notes From Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler

Notes From Sergeant Major of The Army Raymond F. Chandler posted 17 NOV 11

Military Retirement:
The current retirement program we are under is not going to change for those already in the
Army.  He said that he can’t find one Congressman that supports changing our retirement
plan for those already serving.  Less than 1% of US citizens serve in our Armed Forces and
our nation owes us this for standing up for our freedoms.  Our Nation would be breaking a
commitment / agreement to those that volunteered to serve our nation.

The SMA said that the Chief of Staff and him trust us to do the right thing and we need to
trust them with this issue. The SMA also made it clear that the Army does not control this.
Congress does. He also gave examples of how the military pay has changed in the last 30
years. Final pay to high three and the 1990 Redux.

U.S. Army Drawdown:
The Army will be drawing down. This will be accomplished through less retention, a selective
early retirement board for those that are retirement eligible and by separating Soldiers for

Average Performers:
NCOs / Soldiers that are just average performers may find it difficult to stay in the Army or in
their current MOS when it comes time to re-enlist.
For those that receive a no on the values portion of the NCOER, receive a poor NCOER,
DUI, or Article 15 may find it difficult to stay in the Army.
If they are allowed to stay they could be forced to fill a MOS, other than
their current one, that the Army needs help in filling.   He used the phrase
“Tightening up the ranks” a lot tonight.

NCOERs are over inflated. NCOERs will be changed to be in line with FM 6-22
(LEADERSHIP). More responsibility on the rated individual along with stricter counseling
requirements that are documented.

New APFTThe new APFT is under his review.  He stated that the run will not be 1.5 miles.  He would
like to see it changed to 4.0 miles.  He is also reviewing two of the new events, broad jump
and the shuttle run, and a proposal for the new APFT will be submitted in February 2012.  
Another COA would be to just keep the current one, but I feel the run is going to change due
to his comments concerning overweight NCOs/Soldiers in the ranks.  Age groups are also
being discussed. Possibly just one age group or two. Under 40 and over 40. The standards
will remain different for males and females.

Army Overweight Personnel:
We have the highest tolerances for body fat % in the armed forces.  I am tired of being last
and want to be first.  Personal appearance will be addressed in the upcoming new version of
AR 670-1 that will be released in 6 months.  We are going to “Tighten up the Ranks” on
overweight personnel and he feels that it is a leadership failure for a lot of the overweight
personnel in our ranks.  We should be conducting more counseling, monitoring PT training
plans, and getting rid of those that do not comply.  SMA Quote “
can’t look like a stuffed summer sausage in your ACUs”.

Tattoos in the Military:
A change is coming on tattoos that service personnel may have.  No Tattoos above the neck
or past the wrist area.  The uniform should cover all Tattoos, “no red lips on your neck”.  For
females, if you get a Tattoo on your calf, then you will not be able to wear the Army skirt, you
will wear pants, so the Tattoo may not be seen. If you get a Tattoo that is visible it could
become grounds for separation from the Army.  You are a professional, and if you want to
serve in the Army you will look professional or leave our ranks.

Grooming standards:
Haircuts. Photos are coming showing what proper haircuts can look like.
There will be an authorized short, medium and long haircut. As a uniformed service, we
should look uniform (a like). Females included.

Side burns. No pointy sideburns. Reg’s not changing, just enforcing the length, shape and

Fingernails. No long finger nails for men and no finger nail polish for females in duty uniform.
Polish in ASUs will be neutral tones or may go away completely.

Earrings for females while wearing the duty uniform. This reg is being reviewed and may be
changed to allow female Soldiers to wear studs while in duty uniform.

Sexual Assault/Harassment:
Must conduct sexual assault training, 95% of sexual assaults are males
against females.   He sees on average 2 sexual assault / harassment cases
concerning E-9s per week.  He feels that if training and counseling were conducted more
Soldiers would be ID’d early in their career and separated from the Army if this type of
behavior continued.

There will be a reduction in the civilian work force for US Army Bases.  For example, Soldiers
manning gates and cutting grass, FT Stewart is already doing so.

Sergeant Major, United States Army

Read CSM Raymond F. Chandler’s Biography >