Sergeant Major John J. Anderson was born in Ireland on December 26, 1938. He emigrated to the United States in November 1959, and within a month of his arrival, he enlisted in the United States Army.
During his 33 years' service, he held a variety of positions, including motor sergeant, maintenance inspector, operations noncommissioned officer, directorate noncommissioned officer in charge, battalion maintenance noncommissioned officer, chief instructor, first sergeant, command maintenance sergeant, logistics officer, chief maintenance sergeant, maintenance department sergeant major, materiel operations noncommissioned officer, group maintenance noncommissioned officer, and chief logistics noncommissioned officer.
He served two years in Vietnam, two in Korea, three tours in Germany, and one in Saudi Arabia. His stateside assignments include tours at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Ritchie, Maryland; and Fort Knox, Kentucky.
He successfully completed many maintenance, technical, and functional courses, and was a graduate of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy Course, the Noncommissioned Officer Logistics Program, and Instructor Training Course, together with the Airborne, Air Delivery, and Jump Masters courses. At the time of his retirement, Sergeant Major Anderson was the senior Ordnance Corps noncommissioned officer in the United States Army.