A Conversation with CSM (Ret.) Joe Gainey, Podcast #8

NCO Guide Podcast logo Joe Gainey interview

Joe Gainey Interview

For this week’s podcast I had a conversation with Command Sergeant Major William (Joe) Gainey, a career Calvaryman and Scout, Joe was CJTF-7 and MNC-I CSM, and was selected as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.

CSM (Ret.) Joe Gainey entered basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky on June 17, 1975 and retired 25, 2008 as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC). Came up as a 19D Scout, served every job from gunner, tank commander, drill sergeant, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, and a number successive command sergeant major positions. He has four deployments, which included service as the Task Force Eagle CSM in Bosnia Herzegovina and as the CJTF-7 and later MNC-I CSM in Iraq.

Some of the discussions I had with him were on a wide range of topics of interest to service members of many branches, below is a partial list of some of the conversation:

What caused him to join the Army, and what were his goals?

His toughest job while in the military, and why?

The Army is in transition. As budgets are cut and end strength comes down, what concerns does he have about our Army?

What is a Sergeant, in his own words.

The Specialist Mafia

In looking at the curriculum at thee Warrior Leader Course, and how it is different from his initial leadership training.

What are some things that may have surprised him during  transition and since he retired from the Army

What career advice he had for noncommissioned officers today who think they are faced with an uncertain future

The Army’s best Scout Competition, called the Gainey Cup.

What were his Goals when he stepped in to the role of the first senior advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

What was he not able to accomplish that he wanted to?

 Thanks, and we finish the podcast up with his offer to continue to dialog with soldiers and other service members here in the Comments section, so if you have a comment r question for CSM Gainey feel free to post them below and he will attempt  respond back.

CSM Dan Elder, USA, Retired

3 thoughts on “A Conversation with CSM (Ret.) Joe Gainey, Podcast #8

  1. Michael Montgomery

    CSM Gainey has, to this day, been an inspiration. I served with him in B-Co. 1/509th JRTC when we stationed out of LRAFB and worked up at Ft. Chaffee. When 1SG Bala moved over to another position, CSM Gainey became our 1SG. He lateraled several of us over to CPL. from SPC. as we were short of NCOs. Still remember his motivation to us that day. His standards for the unit were very high, and it showed in how well we did our job up at Chaffee. Carried the lessons not only he, but several other NCOs imparted to me. I continue to use those lessons as a middle-school teacher. They certainly helped me through some of life’s issues that come to the forefront. Good interview.

  2. Gerald Utterback

    CSM Joe Gainey is a great leader and has been an inspiration and continues to be what all NCOs strived to be..

  3. Bob

    CSM Gainey has, to this day, been a mentor and an inspiration to me though my 19D career. I first met him as SFC Gainey in the 3/73 AR 82nd ABN back in mid 80’s when I seen the light and went from the 11B from up the street to a 19D Scout. Though the likes of CSM (RET) Reagen, SFC Bala (RET) (RIP). These Leaders have made such a great influence on their subordinates to include me. During my 22 years in the Army I had to reflect back to what would Joe do in this situation. Joe I thank you for your Mentorship and Leadership. Thank you for the chance to take the 1-509th ABN INF SCT PLT in Ft. Chaffee (JRTC). I know I and my PLT tried everyone’s patience’s back then. But you Joe kept me on track and taught me so much. Miss seeing you up here at Ft. Knox. Thank you for your Friendship and Leadership. FYI, I enjoyed the Military Bearing on this Pod Cast.

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