Drawing upon over 35 years of professional experience in military service, Kenneth O. Preston began his career in the armed forces in 1975. Holding a variety of leadership positions in the early stages of his tenure, including as a cavalry scout and tank commander, he also served as a deputy commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Knox, Kentucky, from 1994 to 1995. From there, he was recognized as a command sergeant major. Serving with this title for the 3rd Battalion of the 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division between 1996 and 1998, Mr. Preston also excelled with the 3rd “Grey Wolf” Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division from 1998 to 1999, the 1st Armored Division from 2000 to 2001, and the V Corps and Combined Joint Task Force 7 from 2001 to 2003.
Following these appointments, Mr. Preston was appointed as the 13th sergeant major of the United States Army. Impressively, he was distinguished as the most senior enlisted member of the United States Army from 2004 until his military retirement in 2011, having been recognized as the longest-serving incumbent since the creation of the office in 1966. While serving as 13th sergeant major, Mr. Preston was responsible for advising the chief of staff of the United States Army on subjects pertaining to discipline, training and quality of life during the war in the Middle East.
Mr. Preston subsequently served as co-chair of the chief of staff of the Army’s Retired Soldier Council from 2011 to 2016, as well as vice president of the non-commissioned officer and soldier programs via the Association of the United States Army from 2013 to 2020. Since 2020, he has been recognized as a senior fellow of the Association of the United States Army.
Honored extensively for his military contributions, Mr. Preston garnered several accolades and decorations during his enlistment. To this end, he has been the recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, a Bronze Star Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, a Joint Service Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, among many other merits. Notably, Mr. Preston was the first enlisted soldier to earn the George C. Marshall Award from the Association of the United States Army.
In the coming years, Mr. Preston intends to continue enjoying his retirement while remaining engaged in his hobbies, which include golf, vehicle maintenance, and spending quality time with his family and friends.
Leave a Reply