United States Army Sergeants Major Academy

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United States Army Sergeants Major Academy
USASMA Ultima Crest, 2013, Ft. Bliss TX.png
United States Army Sergeants Major Academy distinctive unit insignia
Active 1972–present
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Type Senior noncommissioned officer school
Garrison/HQ Fort Bliss, Texas
Motto(s) Ultima
shoulder sleeve insignia Sergeants Major Academy SSI.gif

The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) was established on 1 July 1972 at Fort Bliss, Texas, and began instruction in January 1973. Its curriculum is designed to broaden the student's current knowledge base. This approach differs from the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) related training at the basic and advanced levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System. The prime educational technique employed throughout the course is the small group participatory learning process.


Basic Leader Course[edit]

The Sergeants Major Academy was established by General Order in July 1972 and started educating sergeants major in January 1973 with Class 1 consisting of 105 students. The Academy was also given the mission to further the efforts to standardize noncommissioned officer education, resulting in the addition of the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), now known as the Basic Leader Course (BLC). This course is a blend of the previous Primary Leadership Course (PLC) and the Primary Noncommissioned Officer Course (PNCOC) into one course that provides leadership tools to non-specific military occupations at the junior NCO level and newly structured against critical task and input from current operations learned during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. USASMA is the Army's proponent for course development for the Basic Leader Course to educate junior noncommissioned officers preparing to assume positions as team or section sergeants.

Advanced Leader Course[edit]

USASMA developed the common leader training for the Basic NCO Course (BNCOC), and has been the proponent since 1984. BNCOC transitioned to the Advanced Leader Course (ALC) in 2008. USASMA is responsible for the development and delivery of common core leader tasks for the Advanced Leader Course-Common Core (ALC-CC) as of October 2009 delivering 82 hours of course material to nearly 14,000 sergeants annually. This course focuses on leadership and technical skills required to prepare Soldiers selected for promotion to staff sergeant to effectively lead squad/platoon size units. ALC is typically attended by NCOs in the ranks of Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. MOS-specific versions of ALC are taught at the branch level.[1]

Senior Leader Course[edit]

Senior Leader Course (SLC) is the new name of the Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course (ANCOC) and is generally attended by NCOs in the ranks of staff sergeant and sergeant first class. SLC is a branch–specific course that provides an opportunity for soldiers selected for promotion to sergeant first class to acquire the leader, technical, and tactical skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead platoon or company-size units.

Command Sergeant Major Course[edit]

In 1989, USASMA began conducting the Command Sergeant Major Course (CSMC). The CSMC is a one-week course that provides newly assigned command sergeants major (CSM) and CSM designees with the knowledge needed to serve effectively as a CSM at battalion and brigade level assignments. The 42.5 hours of instruction include leader transition, training management, sponsorship, assigning and utilizing soldiers, boards, retention, the NCOER system, quality of life and unit readiness. The training focus is on the commander/CSM relationship and the duties of the CSM in training the unit to mission standards. The course instructors are current CSMs brought in from the field. All noncommissioned officers awaiting positions as CSMs must attend this course. As of October 2006, the School of Command Preparation at Fort Leavenworth assumed responsibility for the execution of the course in concert with the officer pre-command course.

Spouse Leader Development Course[edit]

USASMA also conducts the Spouse Leader Development Course at the Academy. This course enhances the role of the senior noncommissioned officer spouse providing insight and guidance regarding their future assignments and participation as members of family readiness groups and command team partners.

Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course[edit]

In January 1991, USASMA began instructing the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course (BSNCOC). This course effectively combines the programs of instruction (POIs) of the former Operations and Intelligence Course and the Personnel and Logistics Course into a six-week integrated program and prepared junior staff NCO with the skills necessary to conduct operations in tactical operations centers at all levels of command.

Structured Self-Development[edit]

Starting in October 2010, the Sergeants Major Academy developed and delivered level I of Structured Self-Development (SSD) where every soldier graduating from advanced individual training is automatically enrolled and must complete it to be eligible for attendance to the Basic Leader Course or promotion to sergeant.[2] There is no level II SSD as ALC-CC substitutes for level II participation. SSD III concentrates on platoon-level tasks and is required for staff sergeants for them to be eligible for attendance to the Senior Leader Course and consideration for promotion to sergeant first class. SSD IV was developed and launched for Master Sergeants to complete as a prerequisite for attendance to the Sergeants Major Course. SSD V trains promotable master sergeants and sergeants major for nominative and joint assignments and will be a requirement for those positions starting January 1, 2015.[3][4]

Other Missions[edit]

In addition to being the proponent for NCOES, USASMA is also responsible for The NCO Journal and The United States Army Heritage Center of the Noncommissioned Officer.


Commandant: CSM Dennis E. Defreese

Former Leadership[edit]

Commandant: CSM Raymond F. Chandler, 1st Enlisted Commandant[5]

Notable alumni[edit]

Hall of Honor[edit]

The United States Army Sergeants Major Academy's Hall of Honor was established on 5 May 2006 as "a means of recognizing outstanding individuals who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the USASMA and the Army’s NCO Education System." To date there have been 28 members selected for that honor.[6]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "https://www.bliss.army.mil/usasma/usasma-PublicAffairs-History_of_USASMA.asp History of Sergeants Major Academy".

External links[edit]