|FORT BLISS, Texas, Aug. 24, 2006 — The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy’s Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Dale was named recipient of the Blacks In Government (BIG) 2006 Meritorious Service Award last week. The national honor goes to one African American soldier each year.
“I was shocked,” Dale said. “I’m excited about being selected, but I don’t think I do anything above and beyond what any leader should do. I’m still at a loss for words.”
The academy’s senior noncommissioned officer influences the curriculum taught at all Noncommissioned Officer Education System schools throughout the Army. In his position, Dale is considered the right man for the job by many – a quiet-spoken, humble soldier, quick with a smile and a word of advice, who fully believes in taking care of soldiers.
Dale was nominated for the honor a few months ago by Col. David Abramowitz, school commandant.
“To me, it was pretty obvious; we’re USASMA, we’re the keystone of NCO education and he’s the noncommissioned officer in charge of that,” Abramowitz said. “I thought he was absolutely the right person to be nominated for this award, and I thought for sure he would win because when you take a look at the requirements for Blacks In Government award, it’s a leader, an educator, a role model – he’s all three.”