The Army will get a new chief of staff in 2015 as Gen. Ray Odierno completes his tenure in September.

In January, soldiers also get their youngest-ever top enlisted leader as Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey steps in as sergeant major of the Army.

Odierno has served as the Army's top officer since Sept. 7, 2011. A 1976 West Point graduate who has spent more than four years in Iraq, Odierno has not only led the force through two wars but also as it undergoes its largest drawdown since the 1990s.

Whoever is selected to succeed Odierno will lead a combat-tested Army that is bracing for the return of sequestration in 2016 even as it is tasked with ever-growing demands from Africa to Iraq to Europe.

A few of the general officers who could be selected to succeed Odierno include:

  • Gen. Daniel Allyn, the vice chief of staff of the Army, a position that traditionally has been a stepping stone en route to the chief's office. As the officer in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Army, Allyn is armed with intimate knowledge of the Army's inner workings and the challenges it faces.
  • Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific. Brooks has led USARPAC since July 2013, taking on the job as the U.S. rebalances its focus to the Asia-Pacific region. A former aide-de-camp to the vice chief of staff and Army chief of public affairs, as well as a former deputy director for the war on terrorism on the Joint Staff, Brooks is well versed with the inner workings of the Army and Pentagon.
  • Gen. John Campbell, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Campbell, who most recently was the Army vice chief of staff, is a highly respected and well-liked officer who has extensive combat experience as well as knowledge of the Army, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill.
  • Gen. David Perkins, the commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command. Perkins, who has led TRADOC since March 2014 and is widely known as a sharply intelligent officer, has spearheaded many of the Army's key efforts. This includes developing the new Army operating concept, rewriting Army doctrine, and leading the study and analysis to determine what the future Army should look like.

New SMA

Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey will become sergeant major of the Army in January.

Photo Credit: Army

Dailey will become the Army's new top enlisted soldier on Jan. 30.

Dailey, 42, was most recently the command sergeant major for Training and Doctrine Command, will be the youngest soldier to ever serve as the sergeant major of the Army.

Dailey, who entered military service in the footsteps of his grandfathers, father and oldest brother, wasHe enlisted at age 17 when he enlisted in 1989. Dailey, now 42, said his selection was "quite a humbling experience."

Dailey was selected by Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno after being considered by a board and participating in an interview with Odierno.

When Odierno informed him that he had been selected for the position, Dailey said it was "a little bit of a shock."

"Then you realize you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, and there are a lot of soldiers counting on you," he said. "It's a big undertaking. I told the chief he could be very confident in the fact that I would do the best I possibly can."

Dailey will be the 15th sergeant major of the Army. He will succeed Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, who was sworn into the job in March 2011 and will retire after almost 33 years in uniform.

As sergeant major of the Army, Dailey will serve as the Army chief of staff's personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force. The exact duties will vary depending on the chief of staff, but much of the senior enlisted soldier's time is spent traveling across the Army to observe training and talk to soldiers and their families, according to information from the Army.

The sergeant major of the Army also recommends quality of life improvements to Army leadership and sits on councils that make decisions affecting enlisted soldiers and their families.

Dailey, an infantryman, has served in Germany and Korea, and at Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Stewart, Georgia; and Fort Carson, Colorado.

He has served as a radio telephone operator, rifleman, Bradley commander, battalion master gunner, a Primary Leadership Development Course senior instructor, platoon sergeant and first sergeant. He served as a command sergeant major at the battalion, brigade and division levels before being selected as the senior enlisted soldier for TRADOC in August 2011.

He is a veteran of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and he deployed four times to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.