By MARTHA C. KOESTER
Calling it an honor to have international military senior enlisted leaders come through the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, U.S. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey congratulated seven of its Sergeants Major Course alumni during their induction into the International Student Hall of Fame on April 12.
“This is an institution that is built time and time again from the great men and women who have been students here, but also from the great leaders who have had the privilege of leading this institution to an institution of excellence throughout history,” Dailey said during opening-day ceremonies of the 2016 International Training and Leader Development Symposium at Fort Bliss, Texas. “I am truly proud and honored to represent the Army that represents the world through education.”
Each inductee was invited onto the stage to unveil their plaques. The seven honorees were Sgt. Maj. Lyubomir Kirilov Lambov, sergeant major of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, Class 61; Sgt. Maj. of the Army Henry Whistler Dulce Dulce, sergeant major of the Colombian army, Class 62; Warrant Officer One Anthony Lysight, force sergeant major of the Jamaica Defence Force, Class 55; Chief Warrant Officer Mohammad Al-smadi, sergeant major of the Jordanian Armed Forces, Class 59; Command Sgt. Maj. Lee Gil Ho, command sergeant major of the Combined Forces Command, Republic of Korea and Ground Component Command, Class 59; Sgt. Maj. Genc Metaj, sergeant major of Kosovo Security Force, Class 63; and Plutonier Adjutant Principal Adrian Mateescu, senior enlisted leader (command sergeant major) for the Romanian Land Forces, Class 57.
“There is a common bond between all of us in here … each of us has the same basic duty: accomplishing the mission and taking care of our Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Defreese, commandant of USASMA. “The students and faculty here get more from our international students and faculty and their diversity, knowledge and experiences than they get from us. This newest class of hall of fame inductees are outstanding examples of this.”
The focus of the three-day symposium was on training and fostering international partnerships. Attendees included Dailey, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn and more than 50 international military senior enlisted leaders.
Since USASMA hosted its first international class in 1975, the academy has graduated 821 international students, representing 76 countries, from its Sergeants Major Course. The International Student Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize those international students who graduated from the course, have advanced to a position similar to that of the U.S. Army’s sergeant major of the Army, and have made enduring contributions to the leader development and education of the noncommissioned officers corps of their respective countries.
The symposium gave International Student Hall of Fame honorees a chance to return to USASMA and its familiar surroundings. Al-smadi said he was humbled to be part of the International Student Hall of Fame and felt at home.
“I came through USASMA eight years ago,” Al-smadi said. “It gave me the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences ─ not just the United States’ sergeants major who are very professional, but from NCOs from all around the world.”
“This is a big deal because this is a recognition not just for me, but for the entire Bulgarian Army,” Lambov said. “This is a great honor, and I am proud of this.”