Command Sergeant Major Jimmie W. Spencer

U.S. Army Special Operations Command

October 1990–April 1993

Jimmie W. Spencer is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He enlisted into the United States Army in December 1961 and began his military career at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Over the course of the next 32 years, Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer devoted himself to training, developing and educating Soldiers and noncommissioned officers. His experiences serving in Vietnam with Airborne and Special Forces units proved to be the catalyst to instilling a drive in noncommissioned officers and leaders to care for Soldiers by emphasizing professional development, competence and lifelong learning.

His most significant contributions to leader development and the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy were while assigned to Headquarters, Personnel Command. There, he was charged by Sgts. Maj. of the Army Richard Kidd and Julius Gates to ensure the Academy was a top priority. He was to assign the right people with the right qualifications who could deliver the best instruction to the future senior NCOs of the Army, sister services and international partner nations. His devotion to the Academy and the NCO Education System was further demonstrated while assigned as the command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. There, he became a mentor to and frequent guest speaker at USASMA, ensured the best senior noncommissioned officers in the Special Operations community were assigned as Academy faculty, and served as a senior mentor for the Pre-Command/Command Sergeants Major Designee Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Upon his retirement, Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer continued supporting NCO professional development and learning by becoming the director of noncommissioned officer and enlisted affairs for the Association of the United States Army. Over the next 17 years, he supported the initiation and growth of the U.S. Army Museum of the Noncommissioned Officer and established the SGM Larry L. Strickland Education Leadership and Military History Awards, which recognized the academic achievement of Sergeant Major Course graduates for excellence in writing. Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer continues to be a mentor and participates in the Pre-Command/CSM Designee course as a retiree, providing insight on relevant leadership issues that impact the Army today.

His awards include the Legion of Merit (with one oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with one oak leaf cluster), Air Medal, Vietnam Honor Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Jungle Expert Badge, Ranger and Special Forces Tabs, and Canadian, Spanish, Ecuadorian and the Republic of Korea Parachutist Badges. He is a member of the National Infantry Association Order of Saint Maurice with the rank of Primicerius, a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Infantry Doughboy Award.

Command Sgt. Maj. Spencer holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York. In 1968, he completed Special Forces training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School. His other military education courses include Special Forces Weapons, Advanced SCUBA and Jungle Operations Training. He is a 1980 graduate of the Sergeants Major Course and a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, Republic of Korea Ranger School and Canadian Airborne School.