|Kenneth O. Preston|
Preston in 2010
February 18, 1957 |
Mount Savage, Maryland, U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1975-2011|
|Rank||Sergeant Major of the Army|
|Awards||Army Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Meritorious Service Medal (4)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (5)
Army Achievement Medal (3)
Kenneth O. Preston (born February 18, 1957) is a former United States Army soldier who served as the sergeant major of the army. He was sworn in as the 13th sergeant major of the army on January 15, 2004. SMA Preston held a variety of leadership positions throughout his career ranging from cavalry scout to sergeant major and command sergeant major. He is the longest-serving sergeant major of the army. He retired from the army on March 1, 2011 after nearly 36 years of service.
Early life and education
As sergeant major of the army, Preston served as the army chief of staff's personal adviser on all enlisted-related matters, particularly in areas affecting soldier training and quality of life, including the adoption of the new Army Service Uniform which phases out the Army Green Uniform in 2014. He was routinely invited to testify before Congress.
Throughout his 35-year career, he served in every enlisted leadership position from cavalry scout and tank commander to his position as sergeant major of the army. Other assignments he held as command sergeant major were 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, 3rd "Grey Wolf" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Armored Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, and V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. Immediately prior to his appointment as sergeant major of the army, he was the command sergeant major of Combined Joint Task Force 7 serving in Baghdad, Iraq.
His military education includes Basic Noncommissioned Officer's Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer's Course, First Sergeant's Course, M1/M1A1 Tank Master Gunner Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer's Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. His civilian education includes an Associate of Arts degree in vocational education and instruction from the University of Louisville and both a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from Trident University International.
After retiring from active duty, Preston joined Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide specialized housing to severely wounded veterans at no cost, and currently serves as an organizational director.
Awards and decorations
|Expert Marksmanship Badge with Rifle and Pistol bars|
|Army Staff Identification Badge|
|11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Combat Service Identification Badge|
|10th Cavalry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|3 Overseas Service Bars|
|11 Service stripes|
|Army Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster|
|Bronze Star Medal|
|Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal|
|Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters|
|Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation|
|Army Good Conduct Medal 11 awards|
|National Defense Service Medal with service star|
|Southwest Asia Service Medal with service star|
|Kosovo Campaign Medal with service star|
|Iraq Campaign Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|NCO Professional Development Ribbon with award numeral 4|
|Army Service Ribbon|
|Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 5|
|NATO Medal for Kosovo|
|Kuwait Liberation Medal|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kenneth Preston.|
- Sergeants Major of the Army. CMH Pub. 70-63-1. By CSM Daniel K. Elder, et al. Describes the origin and growth of the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Army. Includes biographies of each of the Sergeants Major of the Army.
Jack L. Tilley
|Sergeant Major of the Army
Raymond F. Chandler