2005 Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award 


CSM Dave Bruner (center) receives the 2005 Larry Strickland Educational Leadership Award from SMA Kenneth Preston and CSM Debra Strickland during the AUSA Annual Meeting.
Command Sgt. Maj. Dave Bruner will receive the Strickland Award at the AUSA Annual Meeting. The Special Operations soldier will be recognized for his dedication to teaching the future leaders of the Army during a ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3.

Command Sgt. Maj. Bruner will receive the Sgt. Maj. Larry Strickland Leadership Award from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

The Strickland Award is presented annually to a noncommissioned officer who exemplifies the Army’s vision and mobilizes others in shaping our future leaders while practicing excellent stewardship of the Nation’s most precious resource.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Bruner’s number-one priority is, and always has been, training and educating soldiers for war, the most sacred duty a soldier has,” says Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall, United States Army Special Operations Command Sergeant Major.

Hall wrote the letter of recommendation nominating Bruner for the Strickland Award. In it he noted that immediately after assuming his current position, as the United States Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School Sergeant Major, Bruner realized to meet the Global War of Terrorism needs on the battlefield, education priorities had to be changed. He was instrumental in making changes to the educational and training methodologies at the Special Warfare Center and School to provide soldiers enhanced combat readiness and personal development.

To defeat our nation’s enemies, Bruner incorporated new ideas using lessons learned and linked the program of instruction to the battlefield which empowered the Soldiers trained to win the Global War on Terrorism. According to Hall, “Command Sgt. Maj. Bruner has set the standard and, most importantly, has enforced them.”

Sgt. Maj. Larry L. Strickland was the deputy chief of staff for Army personnel sergeant major on Sept. 11, 2001, when he lost his life in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. According to the award selection information paper, Strickland was an outstanding soldier who deeply cared about mentoring members of the enlisted force and who believed “if you educate the NCO, you educate the soldiers they lead.”


CSM Dave Bruner's Acceptance Remarks

I would like to thank Sergeant Major of the Army Preston and AUSA for this incredible honor. Command Sergeant Major Hall – thank you for your support and thinking enough of me to nominate me for such a prestigious award.

I am equally honored to be in the company of Command Sergeant Major Debra Strickland. I never had the pleasure of meeting your husband, but he set an incredible standard – and I am proud to be mentioned in the same company as him.

I really am both humbled and grateful to receive this award because it exemplifies two of the most important qualities that I hold dear, leadership and education.

I have spent my career in various leadership positions, yet I still have a hard time narrowing down a specific definition of what leadership is.

I know it when I see it …and so do you!!!

Leadership only can take us so far in the development of those that will follow in our footsteps, bear with me and I’ll try to define leadership.

Leadership is of the utmost importance in our profession, I can’t stress this enough.

Without front-line leadership at every level, the United States Army would be crippled. Leadership is learned—by training, practice, experience and through mentorship; which is key. Leaders never forget where they come from…. they posses long-range vision, are relentless in their pursuit of information, are able to communicate both tactical and strategic information to their Soldiers and clearly understand change and transformation.

After many years of self-study from their own successes and sometimes failures as leaders, the Leaders NOW understand that he or she is entrusted with our Soldiers’ lives, preserving peace and freedom, and defending democracy and our American culture. The leaders now believe that they cannot fail to fulfill their duty, or fail their comrades, or fail to defend our great country and its people… whatever the cost. The leaders believe that leadership comes from the heart, is very cherished, and comes from the soul. The leaders now understand the true meaning of leadership and freedom!!

On the other hand, education is easier to define.

I believe that education is both personal and what we, as senior leaders, impart on our subordinates, is why we are the best fighting force ever assembled on the face of the earth!

As SGM Strickland said, “If you educate the NCO, you educate the Soldiers they lead”. This quote has never been more true; your our jobs are more important now than they have ever been. We as leaders must pick up the pace… the mission demands it. There isn’t time to take a knee and drink water… or a time out.

We are living in both challenging and exciting times. We are an Army at war; serving a nation at war….. while transforming.

Our profession demands selfless service, honor, courage, personal integrity and living the both the Soldiers and NCO Creed every day. We must remain relevant and stand ready.

In closing, I would like to remind you. Leadership and education go hand and hand. It never stops throughout one’s career and is practiced every day.

Once again, thank you for this honor. I will continue to strive to reach the ideals that the Strickland Award embodies – leadership and education. Thank you. I salute you… God Bless.