Tag Archives: Daniel A. Dailey

SMA unveils bonuses, incentives to retain Soldiers for million-strong force

Read more: Questions, answers about the Army’s new talent management program

NCO Journal report

With the total Army tasked to expand by 28,000 troops this year, the service hopes to retain quality Soldiers with incentives, such as cash bonuses up to $10,000 for extensions, the Army’s top enlisted member said this month.

“We need Soldiers to stay in the Army,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said during a town hall meeting at the Defense Information School. “If you’re on the fence [and you plan to get out this year], go see your career counselor. I guarantee you that they have some good news.”

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 recently raised the Army’s end strength to just over 1 million Soldiers for all components. Initial proposals had the entire Army slated to draw down to 980,000 by the end of this year. The NDAA increased the active force by 16,000, to an end strength of 476,000, and also bumped the reserve component by 12,000.

The troop surge would represent the Army’s largest yearly increase without using a draft or stop-loss involuntary extension and will double its annual retention mission, Dailey said.

“We’re not in a drawdown anymore; we’re in an increase situation,” he said. “The Army is going to get bigger.”

Soldiers who decide to extend their service for 12 months may receive the cash bonus, up to $10,000, depending on their military occupational specialty, time in service and re-enlistment eligibility, he added.

Choice of duty location, stabilization at duty stations, chances to extend service rather than re-enlist, and incentives such as schools are other ways the Army hopes to retain its own. Assignment and training options vary by MOS.

“There are some very creative things we’re going to do to stimulate all of that,” he said. “The important thing Soldiers need to know is to ensure they talk to their career counselors. They are the experts at the unit level who can tailor options based on a Soldier’s specific situation and MOS.”

Dailey also highlighted readiness, as the Army transitions from an emphasis on counterinsurgency to full-spectrum operations, which will require an adaptable, well-trained, and ready force. Currently, more than 180,000 Soldiers are serving in no fewer than 140 nations around the globe.

Education benefits for enlisted Soldiers are also improving, he said, with “huge systematic changes” to the NCO professional development system, ongoing reviews of common core for all career fields, and possible expansion of tuition assistance.

“We need to change the dynamic in how we train and educate our Soldiers,” Dailey said.

Military training, he said, can help Soldiers obtain college degrees through the Army University’s credentialing program.

Under the NDAA, Congress has authorized the Army to pay for credentials that translate to a civilian occupation as long as it relates to an MOS, a Soldier’s regular duties, and during a Soldier’s transition out of the Army.

“We have permission to pay for your credentials for the job you do in the Army,” he said. “That’s not a bad deal.”

The Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program also informs Soldiers how to use their military training toward certificates and licenses required for civilian professions, such as electrician, plumber, welder, and many other jobs.

In addition, the Army is working toward letting Soldiers use tuition assistance to pay for these certificates and licenses, Dailey said.

These efforts, he said, will allow Soldiers to thrive in the civilian sector once they leave the service.

“We have a responsibility to prepare you for that, just like we prepare you for war,” he said. “Simultaneously, by doing that we’re making you a better Soldier.”

These changes may also convince many Soldiers to keep serving or even persuade potential recruits to sign up.

“It sends a perception across America that we value people,” Dailey said. “We want to stay at a competitive level and make sure that we get the right people to join.

“It’s a reinvestment in the all-volunteer force of the future.”

Senior NCOs, international counterparts begin first-ever leadership symposium

NCO Journal

The value of good leadership wasn’t the only thing stressed during the opening day of the first-ever International Training and Leader Development Symposium.

The event, which began Tuesday at Fort Bliss, Texas, with opening remarks from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff. In attendance are a slew of U.S. Army senior enlisted Soldiers along with their international counterparts representing about 55 countries.

The objective of the conference, which ends Thursday, is not only to reinforce the importance of a quality noncommissioned officer corps to a country’s respective army, but also to foster international partnerships and gird U.S. senior enlisted leaders for the task they face as part of a fluctuating Army in a world rife with tumult. Dailey said the impetus for the conference came about nine months ago while he was in Indonesia meeting with New Zealand, Australian and Canadian counterparts.

“The Australian sergeant major said, ‘Hey, mates, let’s go get a pint and talk about something,’” Dailey said. “I said, ‘Hey, 2 o’clock in the afternoon, that’s not an American tradition, but I’m willing to learn international ways.’ So we did just that. We came up with this idea of bringing an international coalition of senior enlisted partners together on an annual basis to be able to build the coalition partnership. The officers already have it, and we thought it was important that our Soldiers see that.”

To help underline that message, Dailey invited Allyn to speak at the conference.

“The vice chief of staff of the Army is the person who helps you get the things you need done on an everyday basis for Soldiers,” Dailey said. “The chief and the secretary, unfortunately, could not come, so I walked into the vice’s office about a week ago, and in Pentagon time that is way late. I said, ‘Sir, I need your help. I have a group of noncommissioned officers, both American and international, that need to hear the voice of senior leadership in the Army.’”

Allyn jumped at the chance. The 35th vice chief of staff of the Army — a role he assumed in August 2014 — said he holds the NCO Corps in high regard, and not merely because his father-in-law was a command sergeant major.

Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, speaks Tuesday during the opening remarks of the International Training and Leader Development Symposium at Fort Bliss, Texas. The event has drawn dozens of senior enlisted leaders and their international counterparts to discuss the challenges they face in the future. (Photo by Spc. James Seals)
Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, speaks Tuesday during the opening remarks of the International Training and Leader Development Symposium at Fort Bliss, Texas. The event has drawn dozens of senior enlisted leaders and their international counterparts to discuss the challenges they face in the future. (Photo by Spc. James Seals)

“I had no intention of making a career of service,” Allyn told those in attendance. “I was smart enough to marry a command sergeant’s major daughter. So I was getting noncommissioned officer counseling every single time I went back home. Just think about having a command sergeant major in your hip pocket for life. Is that awesome or what?

“I actually had a motto when I first joined the Army that I’m not in the Army for a long time, I’m in the Army for a good time. But what’s happened along the way is I’ve been having a good time for a long time. The reason is because of how I’ve been inspired by our Noncommissioned Officers Corps. I tell people the reason I’m still in the Army today is I’m trying to pay back the noncommissioned officers who taught me what right looked like as a young company commander in 1st Ranger Battalion. I’ve been paying back for 28 years and I can’t get the debt down.”

Allyn said one of the main challenges facing today’s senior enlisted leaders is maintaining professionalism and competency in an age in which the Army’s resources are stretched considerably. He pointed to the commitment of all three of the Army’s corps headquarters and eight of its 18 division headquarters to missions throughout the globe under the cloud of a drawdown as evidence of how engaged the Force is. Doing more with less is a notion the Army will face as it moves into the future. It’s something even Allyn’s office knows too well.

“Believe me, Gen. (Mark A.) Milley would much prefer to be here,” Allyn said of the Army chief of staff’s absence from the conference. “But he suffers from the same problem that we all do as senior leaders in the Army — that is an inability to clone yourself and be two places at one time. So what do we do? We empower our team to help represent and expand influence and be the chief of staff of the Army’s representative everywhere we go. Certainly all of you as command sergeants major understand what that’s all about. You are the Army’s support chain that represents all our commanders in the field. You do it ably, you do it professionally and you do it each and every day. That’s what makes our Army such an amazing place to come to work and, really, the most trusted profession in the world.”

Working through a drawdown in the Army is not a new concept. It’s something that retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army chief of staff, dealt with during his tenure from 1991 to 1995. Sullivan was present at the conference where he was honored by Dailey and five former sergeants major of the army. Dailey awarded Sullivan with the first-ever honorary sergeant major of the army award during a ceremony. Afterward, he addressed those in attendance.

“I had the unenviable task of making the Army smaller after the first Gulf War,” Sullivan said. “In four years, we lost 400,000, we brought the Army down to about 500,000 active. The glue that held it all together was the noncommissioned officer corps — people out on the front lines, people like you. You are the ones who shoulder the heavy burden.”

To help fulfill that duty going forward, Allyn said leaders have to commit to living and exuding the five essential characteristics of the Army profession — military expertise, honorable service, trust, esprit de corps and stewardship of the profession. These characteristics are based on the Army Values and help foster trust between Soldiers, leaders, families, the Army and the American people.

“This profession of ours has been built on the backs of extraordinary leaders over the past three or four decades,” Allyn said. “When we talk about, ‘How do we keep this going? How do we ensure that this great profession that we’ve built endures.’ It’s all about (these characteristics). It’s about living and exemplifying leaders of character who make values-based decisions each and every day. It’s living up to the SMA’s initiative with, ‘Not In My Squad.’ … It is all about inspiring our Noncommissioned Officer Corps to exemplify the first stanza of the NCO Creed each and every moment of each and every day — ‘No one is more professional than I.’”

That professionalism is something that has long been admired by armies of partner nations. Allyn said one of the recurring questions he is asked when overseas is how to grow a noncommissioned officer corps such as the one in the U.S. Army. Allyn said it is a longstanding and arduous commitment that has yielded such an accomplished group of American NCOs. The challenge that the Army has faced in imbuing partner nations with its concept has been immense.

“We’re finding out that this is a lot harder than just putting stripes on a soldier’s uniform and saying, ‘Hey, go do good things,’” Allyn said.

That is part of the reason USASMA has brought together so many international leaders — to learn from each other’s tribulations and to establish a lasting network of international partnership that can prove mutually beneficial during future conflicts and challenges.

“It’s great to be surrounded by so many professionals,” Allyn said. “It’s an incredible honor to have 55 countries joining us here today. As I have served around the globe and particularly in combat environments over this last 20 years, it has been our teammates, our partners and our allies that have stuck with us through some pretty tough times. Their nations have signed on and committed with us.

“(U.S. NCOs should know) just how important you remain to our Army, how important your leadership, your professionalism, your commitment to standards of discipline will be as we try to stabilize a world that is rapidly trying to spin out of control. It’s going to be the actions of empowered and accountable leaders at the noncommissioned officer level who will ensure that we continue to deliver what our nation needs to do.”

Dailey, predecessors select first ‘honorary sergeant major of the Army’

NCO Journal

A former chief of staff of the Army received an equally impressive title on April 12, 2016 — the first honorary sergeant major of the Army.

Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan was honored by current Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and five former SMAs during Dailey’s first International Training and Leader Development Symposium, held April 12-14 at Fort Bliss, Texas. The conference brought together dozens of U.S. and international senior enlisted leaders.

Sullivan, who was chief of staff of the Army from 1991 to 1995, was honored to be selected as the first to receive the title.

Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, chief of staff of the Army from 1991 to 1995, ran his fingers through the campaign streamers on the flag of the U.S. Army and said, "This is the essential nature of the Army." (Photo by Spc. James Seals / NCO Journal)
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, chief of staff of the Army from 1991 to 1995, ran his fingers through the campaign streamers on the flag of the U.S. Army and said, “This is the essential nature of the Army.” (Photo by Spc. James Seals / NCO Journal)

“I’m kind of speechless to tell you the truth, …” he said. “A sergeant major of the United States Army? Are you kidding me? I wasn’t always a four-star, and some of the best [mentors] I ever had were noncommissioned officers in the United States Army in some really bad places.”

Dailey said he consulted with former SMAs and his current leadership when he had the idea to honor a person who had demonstrated a lifelong commitment to Soldiers, NCOs and officers. He said the honorary SMA title will only be bestowed once a year and only with the approval of three acting or former SMAs. He said he consulted with many more of his predecessors for this first year, and the decision was unanimous. In fact, there was only one nomination.

Dailey announced Sullivan would be the first honorary sergeant major of the Army at the Association of the U.S. Army meeting last year, but there hadn’t been time for a ceremony.

“Today, I’d like to formally recognize Gen. Sullivan as the first honorary SMA but also as a great mentor, a great leader and a great Soldier, through his entire life, who still to this day represents who we are and what we stand for,” Dailey told attendees at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy just before the conference’s keynote address.

The 15th sergeant major of the Army was joined on stage by the eighth, the 10th, the 12th, the 13th and the 14th.

Former Sgt. Maj. of the Army Julius W. Gates, who served from 1987 to 1991, said Sullivan “was always concerned with just a few things — Soldiers, Soldiers’ families, training and getting the job done. … I have a lot of respect for him.”

Gates also had the honor of being the first to salute Sullivan when he received his fourth star.

“I said, ‘Sir, you owe me $10,’” Gates said he told Sullivan after that salute.

“What?!” an incredulous Sullivan replied.

“’When you’re promoted to second lieutenant, the first person to salute you, you have to pay them $1,” Gates said he told Sullivan. “You’re an O-10, you owe me $10.”

Gates said Sullivan refused then, but about a week later, he presented Gates with a plaque — a $10 bill in a frame.

“I still have that plaque today,” Gates said.

Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, center, was honored as the first "honorary sergeant major of the Army" by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, right, and five former sergeants major of the Army.(Photo by Spc. James Seals / NCO Journal)
Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, center, was honored as the first “honorary sergeant major of the Army” by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, right, and five former sergeants major of the Army.(Photo by Spc. James Seals / NCO Journal)

Former Sgt. Maj. of the Army Gene C. McKinney, who served from 1995 to 1997, said one of the most impressive things Sullivan did was selecting “one of the best sergeants major I’ve ever worked with,” Richard A. Kidd, as his SMA from 1991 to 1995.

McKinney also praised the general’s stewardship and assistance throughout his own promotion and tenure as SMA. “He really took care of me mentally throughout the whole process.”

Former Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack L. Tilley, who served from 2000 to 2004, noted that he was in the Army for 36 years.

“Of all the officers that I ever had the opportunity to work with, Gen. Sullivan is by far one of the most professional, most dedicated and most supportive of the noncommissioned officer corps,” he said. “He’s an officer who didn’t just talk about taking care of us, he took care of us. … It’s such an honor for him to be one of us, but I’ll tell you, he’s always been one of us.”

Retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler, who was SMA from 2011 to early 2015, agreed.

He said the No. 1 thing that stands out about Sullivan “is and has been and will be his commitment to the noncommissioned officer corps.”

“Throughout the entire time that I’ve known him, he has been committed to NCO development and also the empowerment of noncommissioned officers to do their job,” he said. “He holds the NCO Corps in high regard.”

Chandler, who was also the first enlisted commandant of USASMA, said Sullivan’s commitment to NCOs was one of the reasons he was among the first people inducted into USASMA’s Hall of Fame.

As chief of staff of the Army, Sullivan’s contributions to the NCO education system include overseeing the establishment of the Battle Staff NCO Course in 1991, which has since trained thousands of NCOs. He also helped usher in video teletraining, which was first used in the Primary Leader Development Course, one of the precursors to today’s Basic Leader Course. He was responsible for taking the Sergeants Major Course from six months to nine months and shifting the focus to battle staff training for division- and corps-level assignments.

Former Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston noted that Sullivan has continued to help the Army through his work at AUSA and by continuing to be involved in NCO instruction.

“Gen. Sullivan has continued to take care of Soldiers and their families each and every day.”

Sullivan is still a frequent visitor to USASMA and speaks with sergeants major to be, and he continues to be impressed with the quality of the NCO Corps.

“I’ve been coming here for 25 years, and I’ve seen lots of changes in the NCO Corps over 25 years — all for the better,” he said.

SMA Dailey: “I am merely a product of the best the Army has ever had to offer”


Army News Service

Before administering the oath of office to Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno explained what it is he believes Dailey will bring to the office.

The general said the first time he met Dailey, the noncommissioned officer had been a platoon sergeant. Subsequently, he served as a battalion sergeant major, brigade sergeant major, and division sergeant major. Dailey also has in-depth institutional experience, Odierno said, having served as the command sergeant major at TRADOC.

“He brings this broad experience of both understanding the institutional side as well as the tactical and operational side,” Odierno said. “In my mind, there is no one more qualified to take on the responsibilities and the challenges our Army faces in the future.”

The general named three such challenges, saying they are concerns he thinks about every day. He said he believes that Dailey will be able to help address those challenges, as did Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III before him.

First, he said, is the continued commitment of Soldiers across the globe — as many as 140,000 Soldiers are now deployed or forward stationed. “It’s our responsibility to ensure they have the resources and tools necessary to do their jobs. And that we develop NCOs … so they are able to lead our Soldiers anywhere.”

Secondly, he said, is the downsizing of the Army. “How do we maintain the strength of our Army by keeping the right NCOs in the force, but while also taking care of those who raised their right hand and were willing to serve this nation in a time of war, and how do we properly transition them and do it the right way?”

Finally, he said, is planning for the future of the Army, to plan for what the Army will need to continue to maintain the security of the United States.

With all of those issues, Odierno said, he believes that Dailey will serve as an advisor and leader to help the Army make the right decisions.

“Sgt. Maj. of the Army Dan Daily is the one who can lead us that way,” he said. “He understands those problems and he understands what it will take. I know his preparation and leadership and experiences will help us to lead this great Army into the future — and to ensure that this Army will remain the greatest Army in the world.”


After being sworn in to office, and swapping out his uniform coat for a new one that bears his new rank insignia, Dailey explained how he, a self-described “middle of the road guy,” was able to rise to the highest enlisted position in the Army.

“As a young man I was a pretty average kid,” Dailey said. “I did well in school, but I wasn’t the valedictorian. I was somewhere in the middle of the class. I played high school sports. But I wasn’t a superstar athlete. I couldn’t play in the band — because I don’t have any musical talent at all. I’m even average by military standards: 5-foot 9-inches, and 161 pounds, as of this morning. I checked. By all accounts I was a poor, average kid from Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, left, administers the oath of office to the Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, Jan. 30, 2015, at the Pentagon. Dailey's wife, Holly, holds a bible. (Photo by C. Todd Lopez)
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, left, administers the oath of office to the Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, Jan. 30, 2015, at the Pentagon. Dailey’s wife, Holly, holds a bible. (Photo by C. Todd Lopez)

“How does a middle-of-the-road guy make it to this rank? To represent the finest fighting forces the world has known?” he asked. “The answer is simple. It’s sitting in the seats in front of me. It’s leadership — leadership from great Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers that I served with over the years. These are the people who make Army leaders.”

Daily said leadership is not born, but is rather built.

“I am merely a product of the best the Army has ever had to offer,” he said. “I am grateful for that.”

Dailey thanked both the officer and enlisted Soldiers who helped shape his career, as well as civilians in government and those from his home town, including his high school principal. Dailey also thanked his mother for developing in him and his brothers “the ethical and moral foundations we needed. Mom, thank you and I love you.”

He also thanked his father, an Army veteran who recently passed away. “He taught us boys a strong work ethic and discipline. And he ensured we all had a sense of patriotism. Dad, rest well, and the boys are all okay.”

He also thanked his two older brothers, saying that as the baby of the family there had been for him both privileges and sacrifices.

“My brothers felt it was their responsibility to begin building my resiliency at a very young age,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience. “In the Dailey house, resiliency is code-word for ‘the punching bag’ during their live re-enactment of Saturday morning episodes of Kung Fu Theater. Brothers, you made me strong. Thank you. But don’t try it now. Combined with years of military service, and the fact of this stage of your life — the younger samurai now has the advantage.” He mentioned also his younger brother.

He thanked his wife Holly: “I love you for sticking by me for 21 years, and the seven I wasn’t there; but most of all because you’re my best friend. Thank you.”

Finally, he thanked his son, Dakota. “I’m so proud of you … you’re the reason why I get up every day and work so hard. You really are.”

“All of these people, from the former leaders to my family, made it possible for an average guy to be the representative for a million of the nation’s best and brightest,” Dailey said. “That’s why I’m convinced that anyone can be the sergeant major of the Army. Any Soldier in today’s Army, even an average Soldier like me, has the potential to be an Army senior leader some day. It just requires two things: great leadership, and a strong Army family.”