Command Sergeant Major Willie E. Battle, Jr. was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 12, 1943. A graduate of Counsel Training High School in Huntsville, he attended the University of Kentucky and received a BS degree from Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
During his 32-year Army career, CSM Battle served three tours in Germany (1964-66, 1968-69, and 1975-79), two in Vietnam (1967-68 and 1969-70), and one in Korea (1985-86). During his many tours at home and abroad, he served as a welder; motorman; drill sergeant; a weapons, supply, and maintenance instructor; and evacuation chief.
He is best remembered for his long service at Aberdeen Proving Ground from 1986 to his retirement in 1992, where he was successively SGM, Directorate of Evaluation and Standardization, 61st Ordnance Brigade; Commandant of the BNCOC Company; Commandant of the NCO Academy; Command Sergeant Major, 61st Ordnance Brigade; and Ordnance Center and School Regimental Command Sergeant Major. He began the NCO Academy at Aberdeen in 1986, where he became its first commandant following its official establishment in 1987, and oversaw its accreditation and three successive annual reaccreditations between 1987 and 1991. Due in large part to his personal efforts, all training and NCO enlisted specialties at Aberdeen were accredited at the highest level. He also served on the TRADOC Committee responsible for revisions made in the core curriculum in the TRADOC NCO academies.
In 1990, he became the third Sergeant Major to serve as Ordnance Corps Regimental Command Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major of the Ordnance Center and School. In 1997, he was named as the Honorary Sergeant Major of the Ordnance Corps.