Command Sergeant Major Richard E. Merritt
Command Sergeant Major, Eighth Army
CSM Rick Merritt entered the Army in March 1984. His first duty assignment was with Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Brigade, Illesheim, Germany as a Rifleman and M60 Machine Gunner.
His initial service with the 75th Ranger Regiment started with Bravo Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, as a Squad Automatic Rifleman, Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, Weapons Squad Leader, and Rifle Platoon Sergeant. A follow-on assignment included one year with the Ranger Indoctrination Program at the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Training Detachment.
In 1996, he was assigned to the Jungle Operations Training Battalion as a Senior Instructor and Team Sergeant at the U.S. Army’s Jungle School, Fort Sherman, Panama. He served there for 17 months and then was assigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia as a Rifle Platoon Sergeant with Bravo Company, the S-2 NCOIC and Battalion Operations Sergeant in Headquarters Company, then followed as the 1SG of Charlie Company.
In 2002, he attended and graduated the US Army Sergeants Major Academy and returned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in 2003 as the Battalion Operations Sergeant Major.
In 2005, he became the Operations Sergeant Major for the 75th Ranger Regiment; six months later he returned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment as the Command Sergeant Major. In January 2009, he was selected as the Command Sergeant Major to the Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.
In March 2010 he became the 14th Regimental Sergeant Major of the 75th Ranger Regiment and served as the US-JSOTF-AFG Command Sergeant Major. SGM Merritt served 59 months in combat with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Panama, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
In January 2012 he was selected as the Division Command Sergeant Major for the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, NY serving the Mountaineers for two years. His last assignment was with the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Army in Washington DC.
CSM Merritt has attended all the standard Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Courses to include: the Battle Staff Course, First Sergeant Course, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy- Class 53, Army Force Management Course, CSM Legal Orientation Course, Keystone Course, Instructor Training Course, and the British Section Commander’s Course in Brecon, Wales. CSM Merritt is a graduate of Shawnee State University and was a Paramedic/Firefighter before joining the military at age 23.
CSM Merritt's awards and decorations include: Legion of Merit with two oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead and star, Joint Commendation Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Joint Service Achievement Award, Combat Infantryman’s Badge - 2nd award, Expert Infantryman’s Badge; the Global War on Terrorism Medals, and numerous other awards/badges.
CSM Merritt is married to the former Elizabeth Henderson of Savannah, GA for 13 years. They have two children, a 12 year old son, Lindsey and a ten year old daughter, Bonnie.