12th SMA - Jack L. Tilley

12th SMA - Jack L. Tilley

Born: December 3, 1948, Vancouver, Washington


  • 1966 Inducted into service, Basic Training, Ft. Lewis, Washington
  • 1966 AIT, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1967-68 Scout Vehicle Operator, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam
  • 1968-69 Drill Sergeant, Company A, 10th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Ft. Benning, Georgia (Break in service, 1969-1971)
  • 1971-74 Drill Sergeant, Company C, 5th Battalion, 1st Brigade, Ft. Polk, Louisiana
  • 1974-75 Tank Commander, Company B, 4th Battalion, 64th Armor, Aschafenberg; Company A, 3rd Battalion, 32nd Armor, 3d Armored Division, Friedberg, Germany
  • 1979-85 Platoon Sergeant, Senior Instructor, 1st Training Brigade, U.S. Army Armor School, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1980-85 Senior Tank Commander, Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant, Sergeant Major, Companies A, B, and C, 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1985-86 BNCOC Chief, Noncommissioned Officers Academy, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1986-87 Student, Class #28, Sergeants Major Academy, Ft. Bliss, Texas
  • 1987-88 First Sergeant, Company C, 1st Battalion, 72d Armor, 2d Infantry Division, Korea
  • 1988 Chief Instructor, Noncommissioned Officers Academy, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1988-90 Command Sergeant Major, 1st Battalion, 10th Cavalry, 194th Separate Armored Brigade, Ft. Knox, Kentucky
  • 1992-97 Command Sergeant Major, 1st Armored Division, Bad Kreuznach, Germany and Tuzla, Bosnia
  • 1997-98 Command Sergeant Major, Space and Missile Defense Command, Arlington, Virginia
  • 1998-00 Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida
  • 2000-04 Sergeant Major of the Army

Significant Accomplishments as SMA
SMA Tilley set out to focus on the top issues of concern to the enlisted force at the time – pay, retirement benefits, quality of life and health care. He expanded on the MACOM CSM Conference and established the first ever Sergeant Major of the Army’s Nominative Command Sergeant Major Conference at Ft. Bliss, Texas in January 2001. Enroute to a Conference when terrorists crashed a plane in to the Pentagon, Tilley turned the driver around and returned to D.C. where he provided first aid and comfort. He redirected his energy to supporting an Army engaged in a Global War on Terrorism during the invasion first of Afghanistan and eventually Iraq.

Selected Decorations and Awards

  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Bronze Star Medal with ‘V’ Device and 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Service Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • NATO Medal
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Drill Sergeant Badge