U.S. Army Special Ops Command Welcomes First Female Command Sergeant Major

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The U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command (USASOC has its first female command sergeant major, while the outgoing top enlisted soldier will be the next sergeant major of the Army.

With more than 30,000 soldiers and civilians, USASOC is the higher command for the 1st Special Forces Command, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Army Special Operations Aviation Command and 75th Ranger Regiment.

During a ceremony Monday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Command Sgt. Maj. JoAnn Naumann assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Michael R. Weimer.

Naumann most recently served as the senior enlisted leader for Special Operations Command-Korea.

Command Sgt. Maj. JoAnn Naumann is the first female senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

She enlisted in the Army in February 1996 as a voice language analyst. She completed the Arabic Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute and Advanced Individual Training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.

Naumann’s assignments include serving as the Joint Special Operations Command’s senior enlisted advisor, command sergeant major for the 15th Military Intelligence Battalion and command sergeant major for the Joint Special Operations Command Intelligence Brigade. She has completed 14 deployments throughout CENTCOM and AFRICOM.

“When I came into the SOF (special operations forces) community in 2002, there were very few women,” she said.

Naumann added that being in special operation forces is about individual capability.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command change of responsibility ceremony on Monday, May 1, 2023, on Fort Bragg.

“We have all different military occupation specialties in our formation,” she said. “We have genders and races and everything. Everyone is represented in our formation, and it’s about putting everybody on the same playing field and then selecting the best athlete.”

Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, USASOS’s commander who oversaw the change of responsibility ceremony, said he’s known Naumann for decades and described her as a trailblazer.

During Naumann’s most recent assignment, Braga said, she worked with Korean forces that don’t “really have females,” in its special operation forces.

Naumann, Braga said, showed the Korean forces that she would jump with them, go to the range with them and was a value.

“Talk about changing cultures and adding to strategy and international partnerships through sheer perseverance and commitment and leading by example,” he said.

Prior to the ceremony, Naumann said the best advice she received was when she was a staff sergeant and a sergeant major told her she’s done her job when her soldiers don’t need her anymore.

“It is about developing our people … It’s not about me here today, but it’s about who’s going to be here behind me and who’s going to be here in 10 years and growing those future leaders,” she said.

Naumann said she’s honored to lead the Army’s special operation forces “at an inflection point,” when the Army is “challenged by new adversaries and rapidly advancing technology.”

She thanked Weimer for his guidance.

New Sergeant Major of the Army

Weimer is leaving his position as command sergeant major of USASOC to become the 17th sergeant major of the Army in August, a position currently held by Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston.

For more about Command Sgt. Maj. Weimer, click here!

Editor’s Note:  a version of this story originally appeared in The Fayetteville Observer.


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