Sgt. Maj. Dana Mason is the new Military Surface Deployment and Distribution command sergeant major.
SDDC provides global deployment and distribution capabilities to deliver national objectives. SDDC is the Army Service Component Command to the U.S. Transportation Command and is a major supporting command to the U.S. Army Materiel Command. With nine brigades geographically located throughout the world to support combatant commanders, SDDC is globally postured to provide agility for the Joint warfighter.
SDDC’s primary focus is timely and accurate support to the warfighter, along with positioning the command for the future while improving processes and measuring performance.
What led you to join the military?
I was initially raised by a single parent in eastern Ohio and when I was about 7 years old, my mother remarried a soldier (my bonus dad) who played a pivotal role in raising and shaping me into a young man. My journey as a military brat included time at Fort Knox, Germany twice, and Fort Campbell, where I graduated from high school.
Though my parents never spoke to me about joining the military, I could definitely see the difference in our standard of living compared to the time prior to my mother’s remarriage. I knew that serving in the military would be a great decision for me, and the college option was a nice bonus. I now look at the military as a family business.
When did you decide you wanted to become a Command Sergeant Major?
I really didn’t. The Army gave me the opportunity to serve in these positions of trust and I am extremely grateful.
Was there a specific goal in mind when you became a Command Sergeant Major?
Yes, to strongly support the professional military education of our non commissioned officers.
Professional Military Education is vital and serves as the cornerstone of every NCO’s professional development.
It is essential that NCOs become the subject matter experts within their fields, particularly at the E-5 through E-7 level where they are the leaders that are most responsible for small unit training.
What is your favorite Army memory?
Thirty-two years is long time, so I will share both my fondest professional and personal memories. Professionally, it has been meeting and serving with so many different folks over the years. The people are what have kept me going over the course of my career. On a personal level, it was earning my Ranger Tab about 25 years ago and serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment for an extended period of time. That shaped me as a leader.
What can the Soldiers and Civilians of SDDC expect from you?
I have always remained true to who I am as a person. It is okay to emulate another leader, but never try to imitate that person. As I have grown as a leader I have taken both the desirable and the undesirable actions of some of my former leaders and placed them in my kitbag. I add the positive attributes to my leadership style and keep the negative qualities in my bag as a reminder of the path I do not want to take.
What do you expect from the SDDC workforce?
Simple. Treat people the way you want to be treated ... with dignity and respect.
That’s what SDDC represents. We are trusted professionals, delivering readiness to the Joint Force.
What advice would you give Soldiers?
There are really no secrets to success in the Army. It is a relatively simple equation—stay physically fit, be on time, follow orders that are not illegal or immoral, treat others the way you want to be treated, and uphold standards and discipline. Our jobs are very demanding, so physical fitness is key and is the most important event we start our day off with. A strong fitness foundation carries over into other areas such as mental toughness and recovery from injuries.
What do you look forward to the most?
Getting out to meet the SDDC workforce and working closely with the Joint Force, whether here on Scott AFB or during my travels throughout the enterprise.
Do you have a leadership philosophy?
I follow the leadership models provided by the military, but to me it all comes back to trust. Once trust is lost at any level, it is very difficult to recover.
How do you feel about being at Scott AFB?
It is a little different than what I have become accustomed to on Army Bases, but so far my wife and I are loving Scott AFB, the St. Louis area and the good folks in the surrounding community.