Command Sgt. Maj. Gary R. Carpenter
U.S. Army, Pacific / Western Command
Command Sergeant Major Gary R. Carpenter entered the U.S. Army in January 1961. He attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Benning Georgia. He was then assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he attended and graduated from Airborne School.
Following his initial entry training, he served in numerous overseas duty assignments; 1st Battalion 12th Cavalry; 1st Cavalry Division, Korea; 1st Battalion. 509th Infantry (Airborne Mechanized), Mainz, Germany. He served two tours in Vietnam, the first with the 173d Airborne Brigade where he was a squad leader with the Recon Platoon in the 1st Battalion 503rd Infantry. During his second tour in Vietnam, he served as advisor to the 32nd Ranger Battalion (32nd Biet Dong Quan). CSM Carpenter's other overseas tours included Japan and Hawaii.
After his first tour in Vietnam, Carpenter was again assigned to the 101st Airborne Division and then selected to attend and graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 1972 he was assigned to Company A, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas, as a platoon sergeant, and later as First Sergeant of the LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) Company. When the two remaining Ranger companies left Vietnam, Company A at Fort Hood and Company B at Fort Carson were inactivated. CSM Carpenter attended Drill Sergeant School at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and subsequently served two years as a Basic Training Drill Sergeant. He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion Ranger 75th Infantry at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he served as First Sergeant of Bravo Company.
CSM Carpenter attended and graduated from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major academy at Fort Bliss Texas, and then assigned to the Garrison at Camp Zama, Japan where he served as a First Sergeant until his promotion to Sergeant Major. He next received assignment as the Operations Sergeant Major of U.S. Army Japan and IX Corps. He was then selected as the 1st Battalion Ranger, 75th Infantry Command Sergeant Major at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. During his tour as 1st Battalion CSM, he participated in Operation URGENT FURY on the small island of Grenada where the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions secured the release and safety of U.S. medical students in Grenada. CSM Carpenter was the Jumpmaster on the lead aircraft parachuting into a hot drop zone in Grenada.
From 1984 to 1985, CSM Carpenter served as the 75th Ranger Regimental Sergeant Major at Fort Benning Georgia. In 1985, Command Sergeant Major Carpenter received assignment as the Division Sergeant Major for 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Upon completion of this tour in 1987, he went to Camp Zama, Japan, where he became the Command Sergeant Major of United States Army Japan/IX Corps.
In 1989, CSM Carpenter became the Command Sergeant Major for Western Command (WESTCOM), Fort Shafter, which later became U.S. Army, Pacific. During his tenure as CSM, the USARPAC area of operation included Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, Johnson Atoll, Guam, Wake, and other islands in the Pacific. In 1994, Command Sergeant Major Carpenter departed USARPAC and he retired from active duty 31 May 1995 following over 34 years of service.
Shortly after his retirement, CSM Carpenter became a Trainer/Advisor for the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of a U.S. State Department program. From 1996 to 2000, he trained the Ranger Battalion for the Federation Reaction Force in Bosnia. During the period of 2001 to 2002, CSM Carpenter served as an Analyst for Army Development of Enlisted and Warrant Officer Education and Promotion policy in Kuwait. During this time, he assisted the Kuwait National Guard establish and operate a U.S. model NCO Academy. Building upon this experience, he was an Advisor, Trainer and Mentor for the Kuwait National Guard from 2002 to 2005.
In March 2005, CSM Carpenter became a Logistics Analyst for Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Lee. In this position, he provided Senior Logistics Analysis support to the Army for various Future Force experiments and Analyses of Alternatives.
From June 2006 to April 2007, CSM Carpenter served as Advisor/Mentor to the Iraqi Training Director, Ministry of Defense. As an advisor, he assessed civilian training and educational program requirements and developed strategies to increase the capacity and effectiveness of the Ministry of Defense.
CSM Carpenter earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in management from Trinity College and University. He is a graduate of the Airborne School, Ranger School, the Noncommissioned Officer Basic Course, the Noncommissioned Officer Advanced Course, the First Sergeants Course, and the Sergeants Major Academy.
CSM Carpenter's military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star with "V" Device (2nd award); Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Arrowhead; Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Stars; NCO Professional Development Ribbon; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with '60 Device; the Master Parachutist Badge; Ranger Tab; and Drill Sergeant Identification Badge. CSM Carpenter received the following Foreign Awards: German Parachute Badge; French Parachute Badge; Vietnamese Ranger Badge (Biet Dong Guan); Vietnamese Parachute Badge; and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
In January 2008, he was appointed as the honorary Command Sergeant Major of the 75th Ranger Regiment.
USARPAC postures and prepares the force for unified land operations, responds to threats, sustains and protects the force, and builds military relationships that develop partner defense capacity in order to contribute to a stable and secure U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
Vincent K. Brooks