SGM Larry Strickland Educational Leadership Award Concept Paper 

The Larry Strickland Educational Leadership Award (SELA) will honor the memory of SGM Larry L. Strickland (Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Personnel SGM), a victim of the September 11th terrorist attack on the Pentagon; he represents all Soldiers and civilians lost in the global war on terrorism. SGM Strickland was an outstanding active duty Soldier who cared deeply about mentoring members of the enlisted force and who believed “if you educate the NCO you educate the Soldiers they lead.” The SELA will be awarded on an annual basis to an NCO who exemplifies the Army’s vision and mobilizes others in shaping our future leaders while practicing excellent stewardship of the Nation’s most precious asset.

In each field of human endeavor there are those who surpass their peers both in terms of their vision of the future and their ability to mobilize others in shaping that future. Within the Army, such individuals are our most effective leaders. They are the stewards of Army human resources who identify, develop, nurture, and mentor tomorrow’s leaders within a solid framework of Army goals and values.

 Among the many responsibilities of the Noncommissioned Officer, providing developmental leadership within the enlisted ranks is one of the most important. This can present both a challenge and an opportunity. The Army leader who develops other leaders often must proceed at an uneven or uncertain pace because of mission demands as well as differences in individual abilities and motivations. Thus, the leader must be practical while being creative and proactive while being patient and supportive.

One measure of a leader’s success in Soldier development can be found in the unit’s educational environment: innovative and sustained educational opportunities and access, encouragement, and recognition.

To be considered for the SELA, a Soldier must:


  • Be an active duty NCO in grades E-6 through E-9.
  • Display demonstrated leadership in establishing programs and procedures to enhance the educational opportunities for subordinates.
  • Focus will be on encouraging and supporting attendance in academic/certification programs (programs through Army Continuing Education System) and other professional self-development courses/programs that enhance life long learning of Soldiers and Soldier readiness.

Nomination procedures:

The Human Resources Command (HRC) will notify the Army Commands (ACOM), Area Support Commands (ASCC), Direct Reporting Units (DRUs) Command Sergeants Major (CSM) annually requesting nominations for the SELA.

·         Anyone senior to the Soldier in their command may submit a nomination or the Soldier may nominate themselves.

·         All nominations must be endorsed using a memorandum format by the Soldier’s (ACOM/ASCC/DRU) CSM. One nomination per command will be accepted unless otherwise noted.

·         Nominations will be submitted in narrative format and include specific examples of educational leadership improvement qualities the nominee has shown in enhancing Soldiers’ educational opportunities.

·         Each command will submit 1- electron and 1- original copy of the nomination packet. The packet will consist of the Soldier’s nomination, the CSM endorsement (ACOM/ASCC/DRU), ERB (Enlisted Record Brief) or DA FM 2A/DA FM 2-1 to include a DA photo mailed to the US Army Human Resources Command, ATTN: DSCOPS SGM, (AHRC-PDO-PA) (Room 3S67), 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0400 and email to or


Selection process:


  • A selection committee composed of the AHRC CSM, members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges SGM Advisory Group, Chief, Education Division, or their designated representatives, will set selection board standards.
  • The Selection Committee will meet when possible, to review the nominations and determine the annual winner. When unable to meet, the Selection Committee will review the nominations packets and provide a written numerical vote in order of selections.

The SELA will be awarded annually at the Washington, D.C. session of the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting. The award will have two components: honorary and monetary.

 The honorary component also will have two sub-components: a bronze eagle presented to the recipient and the recipient’s name engraved on a plaque mounted permanently at the Sergeants Major Academy. The monetary award will be the unpaid balance of costs accrued for education that tuition assistance does not pay. These costs include related instructional fees, lab fees, and book costs not covered by tuition assistance (Tuition assistance is capped for FY 07 at $4500 per fiscal year.).

The recipient’s home unit will pay transportation costs associated with the award ceremony.

 Additionally, the award amount is presently set at $4,000. The award recipient will have two years in which to use the money. The Selection Committee/Foundation may make changes to the amount, if deemed necessary, especially if national rates of tuition significantly increase or the rate of inflation rises dramatically, etc. The final award approval authority will be the Selection Committee/Foundation.