CSM Jimmie W. Spencer to receive AUSA’s Bainbridge Medal

CSM Jimmie W. Spencer to receive AUSA’s Bainbridge Medal

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Greetings from the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), our Army’s and our soldiers’ professional organization.

Across the total force, Army leaders, soldiers, Army civilians, retired soldiers, veterans, industry leaders and Army families are all excited about this year’s Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting is the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the selection of a great noncommissioned officer as our 2016 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal recipient.

Our 2016 honoree is Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret., who has served in every Army leadership position from team leader to command sergeant major.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie Spencer meets with Vietnam War veterans at the AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala. (AUSA News photo by Robert Knudsen)

Throughout his Army career, Spencer served in a wide variety of assignments in the United States and overseas to include Vietnam, Germany and Korea.

Enlisting in the U.S. Army in December 1961, he began his military career at Fort Chaffee, Ark.

During his 32 years of active military service, Spencer distinguished himself while serving with the Special Forces, Rangers and conventional forces.

A combat veteran, he is especially recognized for his service with the 1st Cavalry Division and with the Military Advisory Command in the Republic of Vietnam.

Additionally, Spencer served multiple overseas tours with the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey, South Korea; the 2nd Engineer Group in Yongsan, South Korea; the Combined Field Army (ROK/U.S.) in Uljongbu, South Korea; and with the Special Forces A Detachment based with the Berlin Brigade.

Early in his career, Spencer served in increasing levels of responsibility in both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions as an infantry soldier.

He then continued his pursuit of excellence while serving with the 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C.; the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.; and as a senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps instructor at Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C..

Further reflecting on a distinguished career, Spencer served in seven key command sergeant major positions inclufing the Florida Ranger Camp, Elgin Air Force Base, Fla.; 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Devens, Mass.; 2nd Engineer Group, Yongsan, South Korea; 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Casey, South Korea; Combined Field Army (ROK/U.S.), Uljongbu, South Korea; the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command, Alexandria, Va.; and his culminating assignment as the command sergeant major, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster; Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters; Army commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Medal; Vietnam Honor Medal; Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm; Combat and Expert Infantryman Badges, and Master Parachutist, SCUBA, Pathfinder and Jungle Expert Badges; Ranger and Special Forces Tabs; Canadian, Spanish, Ecuadorian and Republic of Korea Parachutist Badges.

In addition to his awards and decorations, Spencer is a recipient of the National Infantry Association Order of Saint Maurice in the Rank of Primicerius.

He was also inducted as a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2004; received the prestigious Infantry Doughboy Award in 2009; and inducted into the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Hall of Honor in 2010.

Following his retirement from the Army, Spencer joined the Association of the United States Army as the director of noncommissioned officer and enlisted affairs on Aug. 23, 1993.

In the eight years that followed, the directorate grew in scope and responsibility to support the Army and the Association of the United States Army’s chapters around the world.

Spencer’s commitment to soldiers and their families was the driving force behind this growth and the evolution of the directorate to become a separate sub-organization within the AUSA Membership and Meetings Directorate.

His legacy at the AUSA continues today within the directorate of noncommissioned officer and soldier programs serving noncommissioned officers and soldiers across the Army.

In the aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 and the death of Sgt. Maj. Larry L. Strickland, Spencer was the driving force behind the Sgt. Maj. Larry L. Strickland Education and Leadership Award to support the Adjutant General community throughout the Army.

In similar fashion to the Strickland Award, Spencer was established the Sgt. Maj. Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial Association of the United States Army Scholarship Award to recognize outstanding public affairs noncommissioned officers throughout the Army.

Spencer’s work at the Association of the United States Army greatly contributed to the sphere of communication for the sergeant major of the Army on strategic messaging for the total force across all three Army components.

Always thinking outside the box to find new venues to support soldiers and noncommissioned officers, Spencer was instrumental in creating a recognition luncheon for the Army to recognize their best noncommissioned officers and soldiers from across the force.

This special recognition event is now one of the major events hosted by the sergeant major of the Army and the Association of the United States Army at the Annual Meeting each year where the Army vice chief of staff serves as the keynote speaker.

Spencer retired from the Association of the United States Army on May 1, 2013, but continues to serve as an AUSA senior fellow volunteering his time to support Association events and programs.

Not long after leaving the Association, Spencer was recruited by the U.S. government to serve as a consultant with the Vietnam Commemorative Program focused on recognizing the service of our Vietnam War veterans.

The principle mission of the Vietnam War Commemoration Program is designed to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including prisoners of war and those listed as missing in action for their service and sacrifice, and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

For Spencer, these recognition events for our Vietnam veterans and families take him to cities and states across the nation and around the world.

In addition to being a husband, father and grandfather, Spencer still finds the time and energy to volunteer to serve with the Army Historical Foundation and its efforts to build The National Museum of the United States Army.

As a board member of the Army Historical Foundation membership committee, he promotes Army history and support for the construction of the new museum at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Spencer is also a life member of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS); a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW); a life member of the Purple Heart Association; and he serves as a member of the Civil War Roundtable.

These examples reflect a great military and civilian career, they are representative of life-long service dedicated to our Army, our soldiers and Army civilians and their families.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmie W. Spencer’s legendary career followed by decades of distinguished service in support of the Association of the United States Army are in keeping with the highest traditions of our Army and the criteria for the Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal.

It is with great honor that we recognize this great soldier as the Association of the United States Army’s 2016 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal recipient.

Now more than ever America’s Army needs AUSA, and AUSA needs your membership support.

Membership is the volume knob to ensure your voice is amplified many times over and heard throughout the halls of Congress, from sea to shining sea across this country, and throughout every small town and community in-between.

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