The first thing Dailey did Jan. 30, just hours before he was sworn in as the Army's top enlisted soldier, was run physical fitness training with soldiers on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.

His morning session echoes what he told Army Times shortly before he took on the top NCO job.

"What I tell soldiers is the first thing to do to get every day right is to get 6 to 9 [a.m.] right, and that's PT," he said. "It might not be the most important thing you do that day, but it is the most important thing you do every day. Because a soldier who's physically fit will look and feel like a soldier, and if you look and feel like a soldier, you'll act like a soldier. I like to keep it simple. I'm just an infantryman."

Dailey, who at 42 is the youngest soldier to serve as the sergeant major of the Army, also believes a little bit of inspiration helps when it comes to leading soldiers.

"In most cases, we have great soldiers and noncommissioned officers throughout our entire Army, and they know what to do, but sometimes a little inspiration goes a long way, too," Dailey said. "Showing you can show up there, still be a soldier, lead from the front, take them out for unit runs, those little things have huge impacts over time."

Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.

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