Command Sergeant Major Robert T. Priest is a native of Lafayette, Indiana. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 23 July 1984 and served aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Ranger CV-61 and with Bravo Company 1st Battalion 6th Marine Infantry Regiment. He was honorably discharged December 1989 and immediately entered the United States Army Reserve. Command Sergeant Major Priest’s combined active and reserve service exceeds 34 years and includes holding senior leadership positions as a First Sergeant, Operations Sergeant Major; Joint Senior Enlisted Leader (SGM), Battalion, Brigade and Division Command Sergeant Major.
His operational mobilizations, forward deployments and assignments include Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Homeland/Drill Sergeant), Operation Noble Eagle (Homeland), Operation Iraqi Freedom, three tours in Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan and Multiple Cross Functional Team Engagements in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
CSM Priest attended the US Marine Corps NCO Leadership School (BLC Equivalent), BNCOC, ANCOC, the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 54 (Resident) and the Nominative Leader Course (NLC). He also attended the First Sergeants Course, Drill Sergeant Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, Drill Sergeant Instructor Certification Course (DSL), Joint Firepower/Controller Course, Airborne and Air Assault Courses, National Defense University-National Security Course, the Army Force Management Course, the Army Legal Orientation Course and the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education l & II Course.
His awards and honors include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2nd AWD), the Meritorious Unit Commendation; the Navy-Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation; the Navy Battle Efficiency Unit Award; the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal (3rd AWD); the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (4th AWD); the Combat and Expert Infantry Badges; the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency-Gold; the Excellence in Competition Badge Bronze-Rifle; Australian Airborne Wings; the 1999 TRADOC Ralph E. Haines Jr. Outstanding Drill Sergeant of the Year Award; the Department of State-Meritorious Honor Award and the prestigious Infantry Order of Saint Maurice Medallion.
His education includes a Graduate Certificate in Stability, Security and Development in Complex Operations, from the Naval Post Graduate School; a Bachelor Degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and a Master Degree in Adult Education and Human Development from the George Washington University. He is employed as a Department of the Army Civilian (Live-Training Systems Program Specialist), Army Capability Manger-Force on Force Training, Army Training Support Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA.
He is married to the former Dawna Noel Lenz of California, and has two children and five grandchildren: son SSG Kameron Priest, 75th Ranger Regiment, wife Adrianna, granddaughters Mckynli and Savanna of Phoenix City Alabama; daughter Sage B. Priest, grandson Colten, granddaughters Cali and Chloe of Lafayette, Indiana.