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    Command Sgt. Maj. Continues Family Legacy of Military Service

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Today’s Army stands on the tradition of sacrifice of African American Soldiers such as the “Triple Nickels,” an all-black airborne unit during WWII. Each February, we celebrate the continued legacy of African American contribution to military service with African American Heritage Month commonly known as Black History Month.

    Black history month began in 1926 as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who launched Negro History Week. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February between the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

    There are approximately 2.1 million African American military veterans worldwide and today more than 190 K

    African Americans serve in the Total Force. One Soldier, continuing a deep-rooted family legacy of service here in the 82nd Airborne Division, is Command Sgt. Maj. Tonya Sims.

    “It is truly an honor! When I received my assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division, upon completion of the Sergeants Major Academy, I was very excited and looked forward to being a member of this elite Division.” said Sims.

    CSM Sims is the first African American female to serve as the senior enlisted advisor for the 407th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div.

    “Not only do I have the opportunity to be part of the great Golden Griffins legacy, I get to do so while giving soldiers the ability to see themselves, be it ethnicity or gender,” she added.

    Sims comes from a family legacy that has accumulated over six decades of military service.

    “My father served in the Marines and other relatives served in the Army, Air Force, and Navy. Needless to say, I joined the Army 21 years ago to keep the family legacy of selfless service alive and that passion continues to drive me to this day! I serve to pay homage to the Soldiers and leaders of the past, to lead, guide, mentor, and support those of the present, and to shape those of the future. I serve to make sure our Paratroopers are the best trained experts in their craft to support 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div and that their families are supported in every way possible.” said Sims.

    The 2021 theme for African American Heritage Month highlights the African American family, leadership and service, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity”. African American play vital roles in today’s Army as Soldiers and Army civilians and critical members of our Army team.

    “I wholeheartedly believe ethnic and gender diversity in leadership across organizational compositions open doors to receive different approaches to thinking, problem solving and ideals,” said Sims. “Soldiers seeing themselves represented in leadership builds esprit de corps and creates space and hope for those who may feel undervalued or unheard.”

    To learn more about African American History Month, visit



    Date Taken: 02.16.2021
    Date Posted: 02.20.2021 08:24
    Story ID: 389471
    Location: NC, US

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