FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey is
becoming something of a folk hero among a new generation of Army
Soldiers. As the youngest SMA in history, it may be a narrowed age
gap that gives him an advantage in speaking to – and hearing – the
voices of the next generation of leaders.
On Jan. 27, 2016
Dailey began a three-day tour of Fort Campbell where he met with and
listened to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Soldiers. He spoke
with Soldiers from each brigade about some upcoming initiatives due
to sweep the Army in the near future and he wanted to hear their
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey speaks to Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), following a live fire exercise at Fort Campbell, Ky., Jan. 28, 2016. Dailey gave the infantry Soldiers feedback about their training and encouraged them to attend Ranger School. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William White, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs)
“You, ladies and gentlemen, are the future of the Army,”
Dailey said during a town hall at Wilson Theater Jan. 27.
“The most important thing to focus on is you. We're going to
make sure that you're managed appropriately with regard to
the talent that you have.”
After a brief introduction
highlighting some of the initiatives that Soldiers will see
implemented in the near future, Dailey opened the floor for
Soldiers responded well to the
open-forum. They asked a lot of questions, and Dailey
provided a lot of answers. Common themes among their
questions were concerns about drawdown effects, policy
changes and the ever-changing promotion system, which
according to Dailey, is here to stay for the foreseeable
Dailey said that although promotion
standards will not change, promotions will begin to move
along, as senior NCOs will see a two- or three-year
reduction in the time they are allowed to serve.
have some of the lowest promotion rates that we've had in a
while. We have to retain that mid-grade NCO because you're
the continuity,” Dailey said. “We're going to reduce those
[retention control points] back down to where they were.
It's going to stimulate promotions and it's going to offset
the drawdown with regards to managing our personnel.”
That initiative received good feedback, especially among
junior NCOs in stagnant occupational specialties.
wants to see us progress,” said Sgt. Dustin Fry, an aircraft
electrician with Company D., 6th Battalion, 101st Combat
Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. “He wants to
integrate our generation into the military.”
explained that much of his generation's strengths will
remain undiscovered until they can implement them at a
“We are a new generation of people;
everything is electronic now and everything is changing and
he sees that. Yes, it is a new Army, and he wants to see it
become better,” Fry said.
During another discussion
at the Staff Sgt. John W. Kreckel NCO Academy, Spc. Kamisha
Lowrie, a helicopter armament, electrical and avionics
systems repairer with Co. B, 96th Aviation Support
Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, voiced concern of
Soldiers exiting the Army with little accreditation for
their military qualifications.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey speaks to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Soldiers before physical training at Fort Campbell, Ky., Jan. 28, 2016. Dailey toured Fort Campbell over three days interacting with Soldiers and looking for their feedback to enhance the Army. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William White, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs)
“We have veterans who can't get jobs simply because they
can't transfer their military training in the civilian
sector,” Lowrie said.
Dailey gave insight into an
initiative that will provide Soldiers with more civilian
accreditation based on their military training. Although a
system exists in which the American Council on Education
awards college credit for military experience, Dailey
explained that the new initiative would allow the Army to
award college credits based on Soldiers' experience level,
eventually awarding a master's degree upon graduating the
Sergeant Major Academy.
The initiative also aims at providing Soldiers who
choose to leave the Army a civilian-equivalent certification
so they may have an easier time finding similar work outside
Dailey said Soldiers should expect to
see this initiative take shape in the near future.
After a few popular overhauls already implemented, including
the Army's tattoo policy and the integration of black socks,
the future looks favorable for junior Soldiers.
mindset is listening to the Soldiers and hearing what we
want and what needs to happen,” Fry said. “You hear a lot of
NCOs talk about the new Army in a negative way but his focus
is on the new Army and making the Army better and that's
what makes him different.”
“I'm extremely proud that
I joined - knowing that I have great leadership at the top,”
Lowrie said. “Before, I thought of the SMA basically as a
figurehead, but now I see he really is hands on, wanting our
questions and going in depth and giving us a genuine answer
lets me know that he's not just a figurehead, he's actually
To the Soldiers, it is clear that the 15th
SMA is here to shake things up, and he seems to be on their
By U.S. Army Sgt. William White
101st Airborne Division Public
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