JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska –
Command Sgt. Maj. Julie Small assumed responsibility as the new command senior enlisted leader of the Alaska National Guard Oct. 1. As the newest CSEL, she will work closely with the Alaska Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe to advise and be a voice for all enlisted personnel.
Raised in Alaska, Small grew up around the Alaska Army National Guard. With her family’s lengthy history of service, she is no stranger to the life of a Guardsman.
“I’ve been a member of the Alaska Army National Guard for 43 years. I know you’re probably thinking ‘That’s not possible’ because I’m not that old!” Small joked. “My dad joined [the Guard] when I was two years old. So, I began as a family member, and then I joined after my two older sisters and brother.”
Following in the footsteps of her family members, Small enlisted at 17 as a clerk typist, and when she got her first Active Guard Reserve job as a human resources sergeant, the rest of her career soared from there.
Since then, Small has served in a variety of assignments including senior human resources sergeant, platoon sergeant for Delta Company, 207th Aviation Regiment, first sergeant of Joint Force Headquarters, and commandant of 207th Multi-Functional Training Regiment. Her most recent assignments were command sergeant major of 297th Regional Support Group and as the personnel sergeant major for the Alaska Army National Guard.
Tending to Soldiers’ needs comes easy to Small, so it is no surprise that her favorite assignment thus far in her career was her position as a first sergeant.
As she prepares to move into her new role, she looks back on her predecessors’ goals and objectives, and plans to build off of what they’ve done. An objective she is prioritizing is making her presence well-known to all members of the Alaska National Guard’s enlisted force.
“I just plan to be present,” Small said “I think being present will make a huge difference. Whether it’s an Army event or an Air Force event, you will see me there.”
Another topic of importance to Small is noncommissioned officer professional development, a tradition she has carried on since her days as a human resources sergeant.
“I think NCO professional development is so important because it builds on the professionalism within the organization,” Small said “It’s always been something that I’ve done, and made sure of being implemented to my first sergeants and NCOs.”
With those goals in mind, Small is set to lead the enlisted personnel of the Alaska National Guard to success.
“The heritage of our organization, the heritage of the military and why we do what we do matters so much,” she added “We need to pass that on, otherwise it will be lost.”
Small enters the job with excitement and is honored to be in her new position.
“I never dreamed that I was ever going to be the senior enlisted leader,” she said “But I’m incredibly blessed to be here, and can’t wait to see where this takes me.”