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US Army Special Operations Command appoints first female senior enlisted leader

Special Operations Capabilities Specialists assigned to 3rd Marine Raider Support Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, conduct frontal assault training on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jan 28, 2020. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathon Wiederhold, U.S. Marine Corps)
May 05, 2023

The U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command announced plans to appoint its first female command sergeant major.

Command Sgt. Maj. JoAnn Naumann, currently the senior enlisted adviser for Special Operation-Korea, has been tapped for the historic honor.

“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.”

The announcement comes as Army officials discuss diversifying leadership roles in the Armed Forces. Naumann, an Arabic linguist, entered the Army in 1996 and has served for 27 years, earning numerous awards for her service.

Naumann’s extensive military biography notes that she attended the College of William and Mary, majoring in American Studies and Government. After college, she enlisted in the Army as a 35P, Voice Language Analyst, in February 1996. She completed the Arabic Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute and Advanced Individual Training at Goodfellow Air Force Base. Naumann’s assignments include the 311th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 344th Military Intelligence Battalion, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas; and assignments to Special Mission Units. She completed fourteen deployments throughout CENTCOM and AFRICOM.

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In addition, Naumann served as the Joint Special Operations Command J2 Senior Enlisted Advisor from October 2015 to February 2018. In March 2018, she was assigned as Command Sergeant Major, 15th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation) at Fort Hood, Texas, and has serves as the Joint Special Operations Command Intelligence Brigade Command Sergeant Major.

Naumann’s many awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star w/ 1OLC, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2OLC, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ 3OLC, and Army Achievement Medal w/ 2OLC. She is a recipient of the Order of Saint Michael.

Despite her many accomplishments, Naumann stated in a recent Twitter post that her focus has been on people.

“My final day at SOCKOR was about people. I stayed away from email and walked thru every office. I also spent lunch with our KATUSAs,” she tweeted. “We went to their favorite DFAC and had a great conversation. I am lucky to have great missions in my career. But the true blessing is the people.”

Naumann’s appointment follows her distinction as the first woman to hold a command team position with Special Operations Command. Naumann replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Weimer, who is set to become the next sergeant major of the Army.