The 2010 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal for exceptional service to the Noncommissioned Officer Corps was awarded to Command Sergeant Major Herbert C. Schmeling, United States Army, Retired.
Command Sergeant Major Schmeling entered the U.S. Army in February 1971. He served as Command Sergeant Major of the 168th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington, and with the 29th Engineer Battalion, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
Following his distinguished military career in the United States and overseas, Command Sergeant Major Schmeling worked in the private sector in the financial service industry and as a military training assistance contractor.
He volunteers for a variety of local and national military service support organizations, including Support America’s Armed Forces, the United Service Organization, the Lakewood and Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, the Fort Lewis Fisher House and the Association of the United States Army.
His retirement from active service did not end his devotion to “duty, honor, and country” or his compassion for Soldiers and their families.
As a USO volunteer, in this year alone he has personally bid farewell to more than 15,000 personnel from all services deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan through the Troop Holding Area at McChord Field. He also energized the local community for monetary and in-kind donations worth more than $3,000 to provide deploying troops with meals and snacks at the McChord USO Center prior to their flights.
He was a key worker in preparing more than 400 USO holiday food baskets for military families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; those activities contributed to his selection as the USO Volunteer of the Quarter for the Second Quarter of 2010.
Command Sergeant Major Schmeling believes AUSA is the one organization that has the biggest impact at the national and local levels in the lives of Soldiers, Army families, retirees and veterans. As a long-standing Association member, he takes every opportunity to bring AUSA and his Fort Lewis Chapter into a position of prominence in both the civilian and military communities, encouraging support for those who serve.
As a result of his dedication to all servicemembers in the Fort Lewis military community and throughout the Puget Sound area, Command Sergeant Major Schmeling has received numerous awards and recognitions, including both the 2008 Volunteer Service Award and Call to Service Award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the 2007 Fort Lewis Volunteer of Merit, the 2008 Sixth Region AUSA President’s Medal and an AUSA 2008 Citation for Exceptional Service. He believes his greatest honor came in 2009 when his picture and biography were placed on the Madigan Army Medical Center’s “Year of the NCO Wall of Fame.”
Command Sergeant Major Schmeling is currently assisting in a $7.2 million project to build Reflection Park; the park, when completed, will be a special place for hope, remembrance and healing for the families of those servicemembers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in harm’s way.
In grateful recognition of his dedication to duty and his many contributions to America’s Army, its Soldiers and families, the Association of the United States Army proudly presented the Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal to Command Sergeant Major Herbert C. Schmeling on the twenty-fifth day of October, two thousand ten.