Chandler to replace Preston as Army's top enlisted soldier
By DAN BLOTTENBERGER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 7, 2011
BAMBERG, Germany — Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston will retire March 1, the Army announced Monday.
Preston, who has served in the position since January 2004, will be replaced by Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III at a ceremony at the Pentagon, according to a Department of Defense news release. Preston is the longest acting sergeant major of the Army.
Preston will retire to his farm in western Maryland, according to his public affairs spokesman Master Sgt. Jason Shepherd.
“I think the biggest accomplishment of my seven years as the sergeant major of the Army,” Preston told Stars and Stripes, “is being a part of the command team that helped sustain and improve our force during a very trying period of our history.”
Chandler is currently commandant of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he serves as the first enlisted leader of the school, the release said.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Chandler is the right soldier to lead the NCO Corps,” Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said in the release. “He has demonstrated excellence in every position, and has the depth of experiences required to help us lead our Army.”
The sergeant major of the Army acts a personal adviser to the Army chief of staff on matters concerning enlisted soldiers, and routinely testifies before Congress on such matters.
Chandler will be the 14th soldier to hold the post.