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Mr President you need a Command Sergeant Major

Updated on November 11, 2010

A New Idea

Mr. President;

I have for the last couple weeks been attentively monitoring the debate on Health Care Reform and to a lesser degree the Cap and Trade Bill. It seems to me that a clear and balanced view of what is proposed is not getting out to us common folk, in particular us independent voters. The far right has spun up the boogie men of bank account monitoring, death panels, Rationing Boards etc. While the far left has done you the disservice of writing the language of HR3200 so folks can read that sort of stuff into it and NO ONE has unequivocally disavowed it all; leaving us to think there just might be something there. Bad form on your part for letting your own guys do such a poor job.

Now I don’t show up and just whine about a problem unless I have some ideas that may be able to help you, so I’ll outline what I think may be a way to get it done.

Look, most of us truly do want you to succeed Mr. President. The insurance companies already ration coverage through their rates and the pre-existing conditions clauses etc. So we know things need to change. It appears however that your team (House and Senate Dems) and staff are letting you down on this, so I think you need some very special help.

I’ve also noticed that you are the only Commander in the Chain of Command that does not have a Sergeant Major assigned to him. I think this puts you at a significant disadvantage both as Commander In Chief, and as a Chief Executive. Every Battalion Commander and above has an assigned Sergeant Major and I would suspect that if you asked them they would tell you they don’t see how they could do without them. Since you didn’t serve in the Military, please read the info below on what a Command Sergeant Major does and I’ll resume ….

Couldn't help the size Difference Sorry USMC No disrespect intended

Army CSM
Army CSM

What a CSM Is...

Enlisted soldiers who attain the distinction of being selected by the Department of the Army for participation in the command sergeants major program are the epitome of success in their chosen field, in this profession of arms. There is no higher grade of rank, except Sergeant Major of the Army, for enlisted soldiers and there is no greater honor. The command sergeant major carries out policies and standards of the performance, training, appearance, and conduct of enlisted personnel. The command sergeant major advises and initiates recommendations to the commander and staff in matters pertaining to the local NCO support channel. Perhaps slightly wiser and more experienced than the first sergeant, the command sergeant major is expected to function completely without supervision. Like the old sage of times past, the command sergeant major’s counsel is expected to be calm, settled and unequivocally accurate, but with an energy and enthusiasm that never wanes, even in the worst of times. Assignable to any billet in the Army, the command sergeant major is all those things, and more, of each of the preceding grades of rank. The sergeant major is generally the key enlisted member of staff elements at levels higher than battalion. The sergeant major’s experience and ability are equal to that of the command sergeant major, but the sphere of influence regarding leadership is generally limited to those directly under his charge.


Now that you know what Sergeant Majors are, here is the Army Non Commissioned Officer Creed. Sergeant Majors are the living breathing embodiment of the following words.


No one is more professional than I.

I am a noncommissioned officer, a leader of soldiers.

As a noncommissioned officer I realize that I am a member of a time-honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”.

I am proud of the corps of noncommissioned officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself.

I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit or personal safety.

Competence is my watch-word.

My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind

accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers.

I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient.

I am aware of my role as a noncommissioned officer.

I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role.

All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership;

I will provide that leadership.

I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own.

I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed.

I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.

Officers of my unit will have the maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine.

I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers.

I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike.

I will exercise initiative, by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders.

I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage.

I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget, that we are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders!

The Plan

Now that you know a bit more about these great patriots; let me explain a little bit more about how you could best utilize one. First lets look at the CSM’s Title, You can’t call him Sergeant Major of America because the Acronym SMA is already in use and the
Sergeant Major of the Army would be pissed if you took his initials; plus too much paper work would have to be done to make the change. There fore I propose the title National Command Sergeant Major (NCSM).

Now you need to know that CSM’s are not assigned to individual Commanders, CSM's are assigned to an organization, (eg, CSM 1st Inf Division, CSM 1-1121st Inf Bn) that is fundamental to their charge so that they give their sage advise to the Commander, His Staff, the Soldiers etc. in an effort to improve the organization. This is embodied by the assignment of the Organizational Colors to the CSM’s safe keeping. The Colors of the Unit are the visual representation of the Units Honor, and History. Since this is where the CSM’s allegiance must be; on his assignment to the unit the Commander places the Unit Colors in his care with the admonition to preserve, protect, and defend them even unto death. For this new position you could make these colors by using the Great Seal of the US on a field of Blue with a small presidential seal in the upper left corner; thus representing the Executive Branch in its entirety.

With all that background out of the way it’s time for you to understand sir how the NCSM would help you. If you check with the Generals and Colonels now serving you will find that no plan, order, regulation, or guidance is issued with out first being reviewed by their CSM. This gives the CSM a chance to make sure that the Commanders brain is fully functional and the operator headspace and timing is checked before the ammo is loaded and the order is issued. In the Military this ensures that all members of the unit will understand the plan and execute it accordingly. The reason for this is because normally the person most likely to be injured when a weapon goes off half-cocked is the guy holding the gun (that would be you). This is usually accomplished when he takes you on your morning 3 mile run and he discusses current and proposed operations and guidance. Once this is done he will normally leave you at the starting point of your run and do another 2 miles so he can actually work up a sweat. He will however be in the office at least 30 minutes before you are, so he can prepare your list of things to do for the day.

Do not confuse this list with the normal humdrum stuff you get from your secretary or Chief of Staff. No this list will be stuff that’s important. Like “Sir- Call the Sec of State and tell her to stop apologizing to everybody for the last 8 years and get to work accomplishing something like stopping Iranian Nukes. If she gives you any shit let me know and I’ll go kick her ass.” Or “Sir – Contact Sen Maj Leader and tell him to add Nat Gas w a national pipeline to the cap and trade bill and drop all this extra tax crap. If he gives you any shit let me know and I’ll kick his ass.”

When it comes to Heath Care Reform I would suspect his note would be “Sir- Schedule a meeting w/ Speaker of House and Committee Chairs at 1530 today I’ll get with you at 1515.” Now at 1515 NCSM walks in your office and kicks out the Ambassador to Djibouti during his photo Op, since he’s taking up too much time. NCSM sits down and pulls out HR 3200, and says “Sir I’ve got some questions about this stuff.” “Do we really need a public option for this thing?” When you say no, I suppose we can do without it He tears out pgs 465-498. “Do we really want to pay for all this end of life stuff people should be talking over with there Doc anyway?” Nope Pages 322-348 hit the floor. “Where is the cost savings in this thing?” So on for the next ten minutes or so until he’s got about 20 pages left. It’s now 1530 and Speaker and Committee Chairs come in. He assembles them in the oval office in a group (couldn't really call it a formation) standing along the wall across from your desk. He stands between you and this gaggle, faces them and says” The Commander and I have been reviewing this piece of shit you call a health care bill. We’ve managed to weed out some of the unnecessary Bull Shit and we want you to get back to the cotton pickin’ House and fix this crap. Let me be clear here, ‘Cause if you don’t I’m gonna come over there and roll this mess up into a tight little tube Madame Speaker and shove it so far up all ya alls Butt that you’ll be using the paperclips for earrings and sneezing staples for a week. Now you people get back there and give the Commander something he can explain, and stop screwing around with Medicare” As this takes place you note that the CSM has not raised his voice even once but that he emits a focus and intensity that assures all within earshot of his capability to accomplish this task and his sureness of mission to do so, you also notice the heat waves rising from his closely cropped hair and what looks like laser beams that flash from his eyes and vaporize the very souls of those he’s talking to so that the Oval office carpet has a visible layer of soul dust in the space between the NCSM and the Congresspeople.

He will finish the meeting with the phrase “Do you have anything to add sir?” Now let me caution you that if you did not discuss any further guidance with the NCSM it would be wise just to say something like “No Sergeant Major, that about covers it.” Or remain quiet and shake your head slowly from side to side. When they leave I am confident he will give you advice along these lines; “Sir in the future make sure we talk about this stuff before you let those guys work on it. You need to make sure we’re all on the same sheet of music here, I’ve got some time later if you wanna have a beer and talk policy right now I gotta check police call over on the south lawn I thought I saw some Butts on the ground there this morning. Who’s in charge of that area anyway?”

All righty then there it is. I’m sure you could get Department of the Army or Marine Corps to review the records of some good infantry CSM’s for this job. There is one other thing you need to know though. Once you have designated this NCSM you can’t fire him. You will have to pay him so long as you’re in office even if you replace him with another one. CSM’s retire when they are ready period.


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What You Think?

Should the President Have a Sergeant Major?

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    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      AB- Thank you sir glad you enjoyed it. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

    • Al Blondin profile image

      Al Blondin 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA

      I'm a Canadian Navy Officer and we call these Command Chief Petty Officers. They represent the voice of all non-commissioned sailors to the Head of the Navy. In this case, I see this position as representing all ordinary citizens to the President. Rather than only relying on the Heads of Departments and other special advisors, this would bring some "common sense" to the table. Great fun read, thanks!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks you Sergeant Major! Hooah!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Springboard - Sorry it took so long to reply,

      thank you for commenting as for the bill it looms ahead like an iceberg for our titanic economy, since it was passed.

    • profile image

      CSM YOUNG 

      8 years ago

      As a current Brigade Infantry CSM, this was a funny and great article. I don't think I have read anything that makes so much since. I will take the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Springboard profile image


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      If ever there was an eptiome of dung...this bill would certainly qualify, and there's one other thing sorely missed in this whole debacle. That is, the voice of the American people who rose up loud and clear and proclaimed they did not want the bill in its current form. The sad thing is that the bill is just too big. It's got too much bad in it that it corrupts the good stuff. And despite all the CBO info, that was basically cut and pasted to the dems liking, this bill will cost us enormously for years to come—and in more ways than just monetary ones.

      Isn't it funny, as well, that in business the dems complain that when a COMPANY gets too big it gets very difficult and nearly impossible to control and manage efficiently, and THEN write a bill so big no one can even stand to read it, let alone manage it?

      Anyway, I like your plan. In the Navy we called them Command Master Chiefs. They are essential to the troops. And as you so rightfully pointed out, essential (in the Navy's case) to the Captain.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Ralwus- Hoooah! Back at ya! I was never a SGM but if recalled I would do my best to emulate one! Thanks my friend!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Gee I need to make a few phone calls about this one. Good stuff Big John. I will nominate you. Oooorah!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Deno66 - Much Thanks my Friend! Glad you liked it!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is an excellent disply of why rational minds should prevail. I've seen your postings on the forums and find that you are a very well-spoken, intelligent person. I'm glad I came here.

    • stars439 profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Great Article. GBY

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Marye- Thanks for your high praise (while I was Army I can speak and understand Marine as well) Hooah! Rangers lead the Way!

    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      9 years ago

      Awesome. As one vet to another (even if this is the wrong language for you) oooRAH!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Foureye-You may be right on that one seems common sense may have been left in Philly when they moved eh? Thanks for stopping by and your kind words for me.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is the best article I have read regarding giving the president advice. You did not criticize him; you gave him advice.

      You may not have been a Sergeant Major, but you have enough common sense. Common sense in Washington died before you were born. You can help bring it back; that is, if it ever existed.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA


      Thank you for your kind words. I would have to respectfully decline any offer, since I was not a Sergeant Major. They are a special breed.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      How well written this was, and a great idea too. Maybe someone at the White House will read this. If they do, you should be expecting their call.


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