Steven A. McWilliams was born on February 1, 1957, in El Paso, Texas and enlisted in the Army in 1976. He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. His first assignment was with the 24th Aviation Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, where he served as a Power Generation Mechanic and was responsible for the battalion's maintenance records.
In 1977, McWilliams was reassigned to Germany as Shop Foreman and then Power Generation Section Chief in C Company, 32nd Signal Battalion. He returned to the States in 1979 and served as Repair Supervisor on the Maintenance and Instruction Team (MAIT), Fort Huachuca, Arizona. In 1981, he departed for Korea and served on the MAIT for the 1st Signal Brigade where he continued to excel as a generator and wheeled vehicle technical advisor to the maintenance supervisors in the brigade's four battalions and two separate companies. Upon returning to the United States in 1982, he was assigned to the US Army Ordnance Center and School (USAOC&S), first as an instructor and then as the Training and Operations Sergeant in the Mobility Department. As Training and Operations Sergeant, he managed the daily operations of four training divisions and a maintenance section with over 350 personnel.
McWilliams returned to Germany in 1984, first as the Training and Operations Sergeant, and then as the Maintenance Control Supervisor, Repair Control Supervisor, and ultimately First Sergeant of C Company, 123rd Main Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division. Indicative of his contributions to the 1st Armored Division, he reduced the Company's backlog of direct support repairs to an unprecedented low of 137 for the entire Division and was instrumental in helping the Battalion attain the highest possible ratings for Maintenance Shop Operations from the VII Corps Command Logistics Assistance and Inspection Team.
At the conclusion of his assignments with the 1st Armored Division in 1987, McWilliams returned to CONUS and embarked on a series of even more demanding assignments at Fort Stewart, Georgia. As Construction Equipment Repair Supervisor with the 92nd Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), he deployed with a large portion of the company to Honduras for Exercise Fuertos Camenos in 1988. Then he served first as First Sergeant of the Battalion's B Company, and then as First Sergeant of the 632nd Maintenance Company. In 1990, he was assigned as Operations Sergeant for the Victory Brigade, a diverse combat service support unit of 2,700 Soldiers. However, in less than a year, he returned to the 92nd Engineer Battalion as NCOIC of the Direct Support Maintenance Shop, where he was immediately involved in preparing the Battalion for deployment to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. While deployed, his maintenance teams completed more than 400 work requests, keeping the Battalion's equipment operational in support of the 3rd Armored Division.
Following redeployment from Desert Storm in 1991, McWilliams served in the Ordnance Branch at Personnel Support Command, where he managed the assignment and training requirements for 80,000 Ordnance enlisted Soldiers. From 1994 to 1995, he served as Installation Sergeant Major for Camps Long and Eagle in Korea, overseeing the motor pool, transportation office, supply office, dining facility, and personnel administrative center for 1,300 Soldiers. Then he returned to Fort Stewart and began a series of Sergeant Major assignments: first as Operations Sergeant Major of the 24th Infantry Division Support Command from 1995 to 1996, then as Command Sergeant Major of the 26th Forward Support Battalion from 1996 to 1997, and finally as Command Sergeant Major of the 703rd Main Support Battalion from 1997 to 1998.
Command Sergeant Major McWilliams culminated his military career as Commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at USAOC&S. He retired in January 2000 after 24 years of exemplary service, but continues to serve USAOC&S in the Command Plans and Operations Office, where he is Program Manager for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence.