Meet the Next Command Sergeant Major of the Army
The new command sergeant major of the Army has just been announced, and it’s Green Beret CSM Michael Weimer. He will be taking over for the current sergeant major of the Army, Michael A. Grinston, in August 2023. Learn more about CSM Weimer’s achievements and accolades and why he’s a great pick for the job below.
Who Is Command Sergeant Major of the Army?
As a title, the sergeant major of the Army is the top-ranking NCO position in the U.S. Army. Whoever holds the position is considered to be the most senior enlisted Soldier in the entire branch. The command sergeant major of the Army (SMA) speaks on behalf of all enlisted Soldiers to officers in the Army, including those in the highest positions.
The SMA also holds the titles of senior enlisted advisor to the chairman and to the chief of staff of the Army.
Currently, the title of command sergeant major of the Army is held by Michael Grinston. Grinston was born in Alabama and enlisted in the Army in 1987. He served in many different regiments and battalions during his service tenure before ascending to the position of sergeant major of the Army.
Michael A. Grinston was sworn in as SMA in August of 2019, meaning he will have served a full four years in the position come his retirement in 2023.
Sergeant Major of the Army List
Currently, only 16 people have held the position of command sergeant major of the Army, not including the soon-to-be incumbent Michael Weimer. Here’s each of them:
- William O. Wooldridge.
- George W. Dunaway.
- Silas L. Copeland.
- Leon L. Van Autreve.
- William G. Bainbridge.
- William A. Connelly.
- Glen E. Morrell.
- Julius W. Gates.
- Richard A. Kidd.
- Gene C. McKinney.
- Robert E. Hall.
- Jack L. Tilley.
- Kenneth O. Preston.
- Raymond F. Chandler.
- Daniel A. Dailey.
- Michael A. Grinston.
On average, the SMA generally serves for roughly three to four years before retiring, though some outliers do exist.
The fourth SMA, Leon L. Van Autreve, only served for 1 year and 364 days (though it should be noted he passed away at the age of 82 before he could retire). On the other side of the spectrum, the longest-serving command sergeant major of the Army was Kenneth O. Preston, who served for 7 years and 45 days.
Only one serving SMA has been an African American Soldier – Gene C. McKinney, who served for two years and 105 days from 1995 to 1997.
Who Is the Sergeant Major of the Army 2023?
In August 2023, CSM Michael Weimer will take the position of command sergeant major of the Army. Currently, he serves at U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) as the CSM.
Weimer enlisted in the Army in 1993. Fun fact: he’s also a Green Beret. He earned this prestigious title, and fashionable accessory, in 1996. He’s spent 19 years as part of USASOC and has under his belt tours in the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Southern Command. He also served with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
Additionally, Weimer has a bachelor’s degree in strategic studies and defense analysis, which he earned from Norwich University.
Weimer has earned many awards during his long and dutiful service. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Air Assault Badge.
- Army Achievement Medal.
- Army Commendation Medal with V device.
- Bronze Star Medal with two V devices and 7 oak leaf clusters.
- Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
- Defense Superior Service Medal with C device.
- Joint Commendation Medal with V device.
- Legion of Merit.
- Master Military Freefall Parachutist Badge.
- Meritorious Service Medal with an oak leaf cluster.
- Military Freefall Badge.
- Purple Heart with one device.
- Special Forces Tab.
Weimer is taking the reins at one of the most important times for the Armed Forces as the nation transitions away from the War on Terrorism and focuses more on potential conflicts with China as well as the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War in Europe. Aside from worldwide conflicts, all branches are feeling the effects of decreased recruitment numbers, perhaps none more so than the Army itself.
As the new command sergeant major of the Army, Weimer has his work cut out for him, but as we all know, a Green Beret has never backed down from a challenge. Michael Weimer is set to take oath in August 2023 as the 17th SMA when the baton passes to him from current incumbent Michael A. Grinston.
Read next: Temporary Promotion Army Policy Extended Through 2023
Image: .S. Army/K. Kassens