1st Woman to Take Top Enlisted Job at Army Special Ops

May 6, 2023
Command Sgt. Maj. JoAnn Naumann, Special Operations Command Korea Senior Enlisted Advisor

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — The Army’s Special Operations Command will appoint its first female command sergeant major Monday, a service spokesperson confirmed to Military.com.

Command Sgt. Maj. JoAnn Naumann — the current senior enlisted adviser for Special Operations-Korea — has been tapped to lead the organization, which historically has been dominated by men.

Naumann’s appointment comes at a time when Army leaders are talking about diversifying the service’s leadership. She also broke barriers as the first woman in a command team position with Special Operations Command, according to an Army press release last year.

Naumann entered the Army in 1996 as an Arabic linguist, intending to stay only one enlistment before taking her skills to a different part of the federal government, she said in an interview released by the service earlier this year. Instead, she remained in the Army and has served for 27 years.

“I never felt like there was anything I couldn’t do,” she said. “If I saw a challenge that I wanted to take on, I took it on.”

Her awards include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and three Army Commendation Medals. She is a graduate of the Army’s Instructor Supervisor Course, Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy and Military Freefall Course.

Naumann will be taking over for Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Weimer, who is set to become the next sergeant major of the Army.

Weimer, who spent his whole career as a Green Beret, is expected to start the transition process to take over as the 17th top enlisted leader for the service soon at the Pentagon, where his new office will be. Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston, who is currently in the role, is set to retire Aug. 3.

In his new role, Weimer will serve as the senior enlisted adviser to the Army chief of staff and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, and is responsible for advising on matters related to the welfare and training of the rank and file and noncommissioned officers.

In addition to Grinston’s exit in August, the Army’s top officer, Gen. James McConville, is retiring after hitting a four-year term limit. Gen. Randy George, the current Army vice chief of staff, was nominated last week by President Joe Biden to serve as the next Army chief of staff.

— Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

— Drew F. Lawrence can be reached at drew.lawrence@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @df_lawrence.

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