Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston served as the 13th Sergeant Major of the Army from January 15, 2004 to March 1, 2011. He retired as the longest serving Sergeant Major of the Army with more than seven years in the position.
Preston is a native of Mount Savage, Maryland. He entered the Army on June 30, 1975. Throughout his 36-year career, he served in every enlisted leadership position from cavalry scout and tank commander to his final position as Sergeant Major of the Army. Other assignments he held as a command sergeant major were with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division; 3rd "Grey Wolf" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division; 1st Armored Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany; and V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. His most recent assignment prior to serving as the 13th Sergeant Major of the Army was as the command sergeant major for V Corps and Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Iraq.
His military education includes the Basic Noncommissioned Officer's Course, Advanced Noncommissioned Officer's Course, First Sergeant's Course, M1/M1A1 Tank Master Gunner Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer's Course, and the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, Class 46. Preston holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Trident University International. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star Medal. He continues to support soldiers and their families as the Vice President of Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).