2nd SMA - George W. Dunaway

2nd SMA - George W. Dunaway

Born: July 24, 1922, Richmond, Virginia
Died: February 6, 2008


  • 1940-43 Rifleman through Platoon Sergeant, Company A, 176th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division
  • 1943-44 Student, Jump School, Pathfinder, Glider, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1944-45 Student, Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Course, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1945 Platoon Sergeant, Company H, 517th Regimental Combat Team, 13th Airborne Division, France, Belgium, Germany
  • 1945-48 First Sergeant, Company A, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, Ft. Benning, Georgia
  • 1948-52 Operations Sergeant, First Sergeant, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne (Abn) Division, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1952-54 Sergeant Major, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1954-56 Sergeant Major, 187th RCT (Abn), Japan, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1956-61 Sergeant Major, 2d Airborne Battle Group (ABG), 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky
  • 1961-66 Group Sergeant Major, 1st Special Forces, Okinawa
  • 1966-67 Group Sergeant Major, 5th Special Forces, Vietnam
  • 1967-68 Division Sergeant Major, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and Vietnam
  • 1968-70 Sergeant Major of the Army

Significant Accomplishments as SMA

SMA Dunaway worked to institutionalize the office of SMA and focused on the concerns of enlisted soldiers. Soon after taking office, he requested that the Army staff inform him of all proposed policies that affected enlisted personnel. Once the Chief of Staff approved the request, Army staff officers became accustomed to seeking his advice and including him in the decision-making process on issues affecting soldiers. During SMA Dunaway’s tenure, the Chief of Staff approved the Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES), a three-tiered system that trained NCOs in basic, advanced, and senior courses. The capstone was the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, which trained master sergeants for duty as sergeants major at battalion level and above.

Selected Decorations and Awards

  • Distinguished Service Medal
  • Silver Star
  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star with V Device
  • Purple Heart
  • Air Medal with V Device
  • Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • American Defense Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal, Second Class
  • Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Combat Infantryman Badge with Star
  • Master Parachutist Badge
  • Vietnamese Master Parachutist Badge

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