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William G. Bainbridge
SMA William G. Bainbridge
Nickname Top
Born (1925-04-17)April 17, 1925
Died November 29, 2008(2008-11-29) (aged 83)
Place of birth Galesburg, Illinois
Place of death Florida
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1943–1979
Rank Sergeant Major of the Army

William G. Bainbridge was the fifth Sergeant Major of the Army, was sworn in on July 1, 1975 and served until June, 1979. He was born in Galesburg, Illinois, on April 17, 1925 and died on November 29, 2008.

Military career

He entered the Army in June 1943 from Williamsfield, Illinois. He was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. Sergeant Major Bainbridge was recalled to active duty in January 1951. Following assignments at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, Fort Riley, and Fort Leonard Wood, he was reassigned to Europe and served as the Operations Sergeant with Headquarters, VII Corps. In 1962 he returned to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he served with the 1st Infantry Division as Sergeant Major of the 1st Battle Group, 28th Infantry, late reorganized as the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry. In 1965 he accompanied the battalion to Vietnam. Midway through his tour in Vietnam, Sergeant Major Bainbridge was appointed Command Sergeant major of the II Field Force. From September 1966 through August 1967 he was Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Infantry Training Center, Fort Benning, Georgia. He then was appointed the Command Sergeant Major of the First United States Army at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland and later selected to serve as Command Sergeant Major of the United States Army, Pacific located in Fort Shafter, Hawaii. In October 1972 Sergeant Major Bainbridge became the first Command Sergeant Major of the newly created United States Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas and remained there until his appointment as Sergeant Major of the Army on 1 July 1975.

Awards and decorations

CIB2.gif Combat Infantry Badge, 2 awards
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Good Conduct Medal
Prisoner of War Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one service star
Army of Occupation Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Military offices
Preceded by
Leon L. Van Autreve
Sergeant Major of the Army
Succeeded by
William A. Connelly

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".
The Sergeants Major of the Army, Daniel K. Elder, Center of Military History, United States Army Washington, D.C. 2003.


External links

  • [2] William G. Bainbridge, In Memoriam

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