IN MARK OF RESPECT TO THE MEMORY OF SERGEANT MAJOR OF THE ARMY WILLIAM O.
WOOLDRIDGE, THE NATIONAL FLAG WILL BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF AT ALL
INSTALLATIONS, ACTIVITIES AND VESSELS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND
ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, FROM REVEILLE TO RETREAT ON THE DAY OF
INTERMENT 13 MARCH 2012.
From Army Public Affairs
A 'Veteran' -- whether active duty, discharged, retired, reserve, or
national guard -- is someone who, at one point in his or her life,
wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for
an amount of up to and including his or her life. Author Unknown
First SMA Wooldridge: 'Take care of each man as though he were your own
brother. He is.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2012) -- Today, the U.S. Army pays homage to
the life of Sgt. Maj. William O. Wooldridge, the First Sergeant Major of the
Army, who died at age 89, Mar. 5, 2012 in El Paso, Texas.
Wooldridge was sworn in as the SMA July 11, 1966, and served until his
termended in August 1968.
"Sergeant Major of the Army Wooldridge was a one-of-a-kind
noncommissioned officer selected to be the first Sergeant Major of the Army because of
his initiative, intelligence, experience and drive to excel," said current
Sgt.Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler. "His legacy lives on in the United
States Army Sergeants Major Academy, the centralized NCO promotion
systemand our professional NCO Corps."
"He was an innovator, a true inspiration to Soldiers and the epitome of
a professional warrior. Our hearts and prayers go out to Patty [his wife]
and the rest of the Wooldridge family during this difficult time, Chandler
Wooldridge entered the Army Nov. 11, 1940, at Fort Worth, Texas. His
early assignments include the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division
and detached service with British forces in Iceland in 1941 and 1942. In
1942, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Europe as he
participated in the North Africa and Sicily Campaigns and the D-Day landings June 6,
In October 1944, he was wounded during the battle for the fortress city
of Aachen and was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He
received his second Silver Star in the Battle of the Bulge Campaign in December
1944. Upon his return to the United States in May 1945, Wooldridge was
assigned to numerous posts.
Upon completion of his term as sergeant major of the Army in 1968,
Wooldridge returned once again to Vietnam as sergeant major of the
Military Assistance Command-Vietnam. Upon his return stateside, he was assigned
to the White Sands Missile Range in the fall of 1969 and retired Feb.1,
1972 at Fort MacArthur, Calif., after 30 years and ten months of service.
"SMA Wooldridge traveled wherever Soldiers were stationed to listen to
their concerns and dedicated himself to strengthening and preserving the rich
history of the NCO Corps; 'the backbone of the Army,'" said Command Sgt.
Maj. Rory Malloy, commandant of United States Army Sergeant's Major
"He was responsible for implementing the Major Commands Command
Sergeants Major Conference in 1966, which from that year forward resulted in a
multitude of proposals to enhance and improve the training, morale and
readiness of noncommissioned officers Army-wide."
Wooldridge is survived by his wife Patty, who is also a friend and
beloved member of the Army family.
Visit http://www.army.mil/leaders/sma/Former/sma_bio1.html to read more
of Wooldridge's Army career.
Opinion,untempered by fact,is ignorance.
There are some who do not fear death... for they are more afraid of not really living