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CSM Daniel A. Dailey named 15th Sergeant Major of the Army

Monday, December 01, 2014

The senior enlisted adviser of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has been selected to be the next sergeant major of the Army.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno announced Nov. 3 that Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey will be the 15th sergeant major of the Army.

He will assume the Army’s highest enlisted office after Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III retires at the end of January.

"We have the utmost confidence in Command Sgt. Maj. Dailey and look forward to having him join our leadership team," said McHugh.

Adding, "His experience, leadership, devotion to soldiers and commitment to our Army make him especially suited to assume this important duty, one that Sgt. Maj. of the Army Chandler has masterfully performed for the last four years."

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, USA, Ret. director of the Association of the United States Army’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs Directorate, said of the selection, "Command Sgt. Maj Dan Dailey is a great sergeant major. He is a professional and a role model for all noncommissioned officers and soldiers.

"With his background and experiences as a soldier and a leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Dailey will be a tremendous asset serving as our Sergeant Major of the Army."

Adding, "He is a distinguished combat veteran who has served in both organizational and institutional assignments throughout his Army career.

"These experiences bring a broad range of knowledge to the Pentagon and the Army staff."

Dailey, who enlisted in 1989, is an infantryman and combat veteran who served four deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom and one in support of Operation Desert Storm.

He said he is humbled by the choice.

"It’s every soldier’s dream – it should be every soldier’s dream – to someday at least have the opportunity to be the sergeant major of the Army," he said.

Dailey holds a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) from Excelsior College.

He said he and his wife of more than 20 years, Holly Dailey, are dedicated to soldiers and their families.

"This requires a commitment well beyond any that I’ve ever done before and it requires leadership that frankly soldiers need to be able to see every day," he said.

Adding, "I owe it back to our soldiers; I have a responsibility – an awesome responsibility ... that is not looked upon lightly by the soldiers of the United States Army."

There is a lot of work to do and it is a big responsibility, he said, in carrying on the traditions of Chandler, and in meeting Odierno’s expectations and strategic goals.

"The soldiers of this great Army deserve leadership and the highest caliber of leadership we can offer," he said.

The Army has faced challenging times and there are more challenges ahead, he said.

"What I can assure you is that we are doing the right things. I have been intimately familiar with the policy, procedures and direction that our leadership of the Army is taking us. I truly believe it is the right direction," he said.

Lead by example

Dailey said he is a standards-based sergeant major who is approachable, mission-focused, who takes on challenging assignments, strives for the best, and places the highest priority on physical fitness for himself and his soldiers.

"It is our job every single day to represent the best we possibly can, not only for us, for our peers and for our superiors, but most importantly for the people of America," he said.

"I’m truly excited as we move forward because I truly believe that we are heading in the right direction in the future," he said.

He credits his mentors for challenging him and helping him make the right decisions.

"I’m the benefactor of excellent leadership," he said.

Engaged leadership is important he said. Good leaders know their soldiers and their families; it’s important that soldiers have a balance between work and home life, he said.

"I would have never made it to where I am today without my family, and that requires balance between being a soldier, being a father, and a husband," he said.

Soldiers should not be afraid to reach out for help if they are facing problems, he said.

"I think we’re in a time in the Army where we’ve really gotten rid of that stigma," he said.

"What is great is that we have leaders who say that they need help, and it really shows them young soldiers that you truly can be successful even though you’ve asked for help," he said.

It is a great responsibility to be charged with the safety and wellness of soldiers you lead, he said.

"Somebody has trusted me with their lives," he said.

"I take that very seriously, the four times that I deployed to combat, very seriously ... It’s my responsibility to bring them home; every single one of them," Dailey said.

"That’s the ultimate responsibility we have, not just to our soldiers but to the mothers and fathers of this great nation," he said.

Adding, "I think they would expect us to treat them like their own children."

Army tradition

Dailey, who is from the small, northeastern Pennsylvania town of Palmerton, saw the military as an opportunity for growth and experience.

"I knew that I wanted to join the Army at a young age," he said.

"My father had served in the military, his brothers had served in the military, both of my grandfathers had service during World War II, and my oldest brother before me made the choice to serve in the United States Army," he said.

"It had a big impact on me," he said.

He signed up for the delayed entry program the year before he graduated high school.

"My family was in complete support of it," he said. "I was 16 years old when I made the choice to join the military."

During his first tour, which was in Germany, he realized that he wanted to make a career of the Army.

"Originally I only came in for a short period of time, but the Army grew on me, and I said ‘I want to do this thing for the rest of my life,’" he said.

However, a life in the military is not easy with multiple deployments, separation from loved ones, and tough assignments, he said.

Family bonds

"My time with my family is sacred," said Dailey, who, like many soldiers, has been separated from family due to long deployments.

Being away from his wife and son was difficult, but "we took one day at a time."

Holly, his "hometown sweetheart," became active in family readiness groups and the support of those groups helped both Dailey and his wife cope.

"Getting through each one of those deployments, even four of them back-to-back, some as long as 15 months, was working with those families and sharing the challenges that are associated with being deployed, especially multiple deployments for extended periods of time," he said.

(Editor’s note: This article is based on a story by Lisa Ferdinandino, Army News Service.)