Army Command Sergeant MajorE-9 Noncommissioned Officer, U.S. Army
History of the Army Command Sergeant Major Rank
The rank and title of Command Sergeant Major shares a history with that of Sergeant Major up until the Vietnam War and the 1960s.
As noted previously, the idea of referring to the senior most enlisted soldier in a unit as “Sergeant Major” was borrowed from a tradition in the British Army by the Americans upon our Declaration of Independence and the creation of the Continental Army.
When Sergeant Major was officially reintroduced as a title and rank holding its own grade in 1958, after a 38 year absence from being an official rank in the military, confusion began to grow in units, as they were now two (and in some cases more) Sergeants Major in units, one serving as the advisor to the commander, the other or others serving on the staff. Yet, the title of Sergeant Major indicated the single soldier who stood most competent and experienced in the unit.
Thus, in the late 1960’s, the Army declared that Sergeants Major serving as advisors to commanders would henceforth be referred to as Command Sergeants Major, although they would continue to serve in the same grade as Sergeants Major.
Additionally, soldiers serving as Command Sergeants Major would first spend time serving in the staff capacity of Sergeants Major, thus clarifying which soldier in the unit held the honor of being the most experienced, competent, and qualified enlisted solider.
Since that change, the title and rank of Command Sergeant Major has held in this capacity into modern times.
Want to learn more? Read about the Army's Command Sergeant Major rank on Military-Ranks.org.
History of the Army
The Army is the oldest and most senior among the branches. The Army's heritage is traced back to the Revolutionary War, when each State of the Union had its own Army, lended to the command of General George Washington. Almost 250 years have passed, but the organizational structure and naming is largely the same. The Army is still divided into Divisions, Brigades, Regiments, Battalions, Companies, and Platoons.