The British Army now has its own top sergeant major.
Sergeant Major Glenn Haughton is the first soldier to fill the new post, which was created to ensure the British army's most senior staff understand what life is like for soldiers serving in the British army.
His appointment is equivalent to the post held by Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, the U.S. Army's top enlisted soldier.
"This is a momentous step for the British Army as they mark the professionalism of not only their NCO corps but also their enlisted forces with their first sergeant major of the Army," Dailey said in a statement to Army Times. "I look forward to working with him and know this will only strengthen our already great relationship."
The post was created in January, and Haughton has been on the job since April, Rowena Forsyth Allen, a spokeswoman for the British Army, told Army Times.
"The head of the British Army recognized the need for a senior enlisted advisor to counsel the Executive Committee Army Board on matters which affect the soldier, and so the post of Army Sergeant Major was created," Allen said in a statement.
In addition to his role as senior enlisted advisor, Haughton wants to promote the education of soldiers and is looking forward to engaging with his counterparts in other nations' armies, Allen said.
"The British Army has a long tradition of collaborative working with the armies of other nations, notably the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Denmark, and has observed the influence of senior enlisted [advisors] in all of those organizations," Allen said. "And while it has had command sergeants major since 2008, [senior leaders] identified the need for a single point of contact at the top of that structure."
Described in a British Army press release as "its most senior post ever for a soldier," the Army sergeant major position is viewed as a "vital link between those making decisions and those carrying out the day-to-day tasks."
Haughton was hand-picked for his new job by the Chief of the General Staff, but he downplays his achievement, crediting "good fortune and ambition," according to the British Army press release.
Sergeant Major Glenn Haughton is the British army's first Army sergeant major.
Photo Credit: Courtesy/Tempest Photography
Haughton, who sports tattoos up and down his arms, joined the Grenadier Guards in 1988, earning the regimental sergeant major's badge in 2011.
He was selected for late entry commission in 2012 and went on to put officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst through their paces as the academy's sergeant major, according to the press release.
This put him in a select group of command sergeants major in the British Army; he now heads up the group as the Army sergeant major.
His primary mission is to provide guidance and direction from the army's senior leaders and, in turn, providing them with soldiers' feedback.
Haughton, like U.S. Army sergeants major, also is one of his army's disciplinarians, according to the press release.
He is a big supporter of sports and fitness and is an advocate for maximizing talent in the army, according to the press release.
"The world and our enemies are always developing and we need to keep up," Haughton said in the news article. "I always say of course we should remain tough, but smart in a complex environment."
Haughton, who is married and has two children, will serve as the Army sergeant major for three years.
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.