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Command Sgt. Maj. John K. Zimmerman

Command Sergeant Major, 99th Readiness Division

CSM Zimmerman has served in all three components of the US Army: Army National Guard, Regular Army and USAR over the course of the last 35 years. In 1984, he enlisted as a Cavalry Scout in the National Guard at age 17 and attended basic training at Fort Knox, KY between his Junior and Senior year of high school.

 In 1986, he enlisted in the active duty US Army as an Infantryman. As a Corporal, he was the first enlisted Soldier assigned to the 10th Mountain Division Long Range Surveillance Detachment (LRSD –Airborne) at Fort Drum, NY. He served as a Scout Sniper on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. Returned to the 10th Mountain Division where he served as a Primary Leadership Development Course NCO Academy Instructor, a Light Infantry Squad Leader and a Light Infantry Scout Reconnaissance Squad Leader.

In 1993, he joined the Army Reserve. His service in the Army Reserve has included Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) assignments to Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), Special Operations Command-Central (SOCCENT) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). He volunteered for mobilization with the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) as a Theater Observation Detachment SGM and was assigned to 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade (3rd Infantry Division) Bagram, Afghanistan where he additionally served as a UH-60 Door Gunner and earned his Basic Aviator Badge as an E-9 Sergeant Major. He also served as the TPU Battalion Command Sergeant Major of the 368th Engineer Battalion where the Battalion deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He served as the Brigade CSM of the 642nd Regional Support Group headquartered in Decatur, GA, the 1-star Nominative CSM of the USAR Deployment Support Command headquartered in Birmingham, AL, the 2-star Nominative CSM position of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command headquartered in Los Alamitos, CA. In July of 2019 he was selected for the Nominative CSM position in the 99th Readiness Division headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix, NJ.

He has graduated with honors from Cavalry Scout Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Infantry AIT and Military Intelligence AIT. He was also the Honor Graduate from both Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) and Infantry Advanced NCO Course (ANCOC). His other military schools include: Airborne, Scout Sniper, Air Assault, Special Forces Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) – High Risk, Ranger Training Brigade Long Range Surveillance Leader Course, Rappel Master, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Sherman Kent School of Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Intelligence Collection Manager’s Course, DIA Joint Intelligence Analyst Course, USSOCOM Clandestine Surveillance Course,  the US Army Sergeants Major Academy, NATO Counter Insurgency Leaders Course, Battalion and Brigade Pre-Command Course, US Army Reserve Senior Leader Orientation Course, Force Integration Course for Senior Leaders and the Nominative Leaders Course at the US Army War College and the Keystone Course for Joint Military Command Leadership at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, DC.

His deployments and overseas assignments include:  Korea as a Scout Sniper, Panama as an Infantry Squad Leader, Somalia as a Light Infantry Scout/Reconnaissance Squad Leader, Italy as an Intelligence Analyst, Kosovo as an Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection NCO, Germany as a Special Operations Intelligence Analyst, Kuwait as a Joint Special Operations Clandestine Surveillance Detachment Sergeant Major, and two tours in Afghanistan – one as a Door Gunner and one as the CSM of a Combat Engineer Battalion.

He has won Regimental Soldier of the Year, 10th Mountain Division NCO of the Quarter and also led an Infantry Squad to win a 10th Mountain Division Top Squad Competition.

His decorations and badges include: Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Basic Aviation Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, German Parachutist Badge, Joint Unit Meritorious Award (3rd Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4th  Award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (8th Award), the Saint Christopher Medal of the Transportation Corps Regiment and the DeFluery Medal of the Engineer Corps Regiment.

He was a 9/11 WTC First Responder and had over twenty four years of New York State Police criminal investigative experience solving misdemeanor and felony crimes through interview, interrogation, debriefing, forensic evidence, intelligence analysis and intelligence targeting. He retired as the Senior Investigator in charge of the Border Intelligence Unit, the Source Development Unit, at the New York State Intelligence Center. CSM Zimmerman has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management and has written over twenty magazine articles that have been published internationally on topics concerning international police operations, counter-terrorism and intelligence led policing. He is also featured in the books “Somalia on $5 a Day” and “Relentless Pursuit, Inside the Dannemora Prison Escape”.