Sergeant Major Elvin Hobbs
U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy
October 1988–April 1993
Sgt. Maj. Elvin “Al” Hobbs is a native of Reserve, New Mexico, where he enlisted into the United States Army in 1964, beginning his military career at Fort Polk, Louisiana. During the next 26 years, Sgt. Maj. Hobbs devoted himself to the training, development and education of Soldiers and noncommissioned officers. His early experiences while serving in Vietnam provided him with the drive to ensure Soldiers and NCOs received proper training and education. This drive was further demonstrated with assignments at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and through his involvement as a community leader in the city of El Paso. His commitment to leader development instilled a drive in noncommissioned officers to care for Soldiers by emphasizing professional development, competence, lifelong learning and a devotion to the Army.
His most significant contributions to leader development were demonstrated during his assignment as director of evaluations and standardization at USASMA. There, he pioneered standards for what is today the Quality Assurance Office, which assesses the quality of instruction and compliance of all Army NCO academies’ programs of instruction. His devotion to the NCO Education System and to the Academy was further demonstrated when he was assigned as the second battalion commander for the Student, Staff and Faculty Battalion at USASMA. During his tenure, he was the driving force in the establishment and advancement of the U.S. Army Museum of the Noncommissioned Officer; he also served as the president of the NCO Museum Association. He further advanced the reputation and status of the Academy by establishing policies and procedures associated with operations, personnel and logistics; the administration of A and B Companies; and oversight of the Operations and Intelligence Course (today’s Battle Staff NCO Course). He did so while transitioning the Academy from its original Defense Language Institution buildings to its present-day campus.
Upon his retirement, Sgt. Maj. Hobbs continued supporting NCO professional development and learning by becoming intricately involved in the local chapter of the Association of the United States Army, serving as chapter president and board member. His most recent contribution was being elected as the chairperson of the Armed Forces Division of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. Over the course of 20 years, he directly supported Army programs, Academy special events, the annual Nominative Sergeant Major and Senior Enlisted Advisor Conference, and the SGM Larry L. Strickland Education Leadership Award. He also provided special recognition to students who demonstrated exceptional academic achievement as graduates of the Sergeants Major Course and the Fort Bliss NCO Academy.
Sgt. Maj. Hobbs’ awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Combat Medical Badge.
Sgt. Maj. Hobbs graduated from the First Army NCO Academy, the First Sergeant Course and Class 26 of the Sergeant Major Course.