Born on April 4, 1952, in Ashby, West Virginia, Preston L. Siple joined the Army in 1970. Trained as a telephone repairer and lineman, he served consecutive tours in Germany, South Vietnam, and Korea. He left the Army in 1973, but rejoined in 1975. This time, Siple would be an Ordnance Soldier, completing advanced individual training and the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, as an ammunition specialist.
From 1975 to 1976, Siple served as Section Chief with the 696th Ordnance Company (Ammunition) in Korea. Then came an assignment as Ammunition Section Sergeant in the 426th Supply and Service Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. From 1977 to 1980, he was a Basic Combat Training Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky, then it was off to Germany to begin a long relationship with the 59th Ordnance Brigade, responsible for direct and general support for all special weapons in the United States Army Europe and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies. From 1980 to 1988 Siple served as Platoon Sergeant then First Sergeant of the Brigade's 510th Ordnance Company, then as First Sergeant of the 330th Ordnance Company, and finally as First Sergeant of the 162d Ordnance Company.
Siple returned to the United States to serve as Command Sergeant Major of the Sierra Army Depot, Herlong, California, from 1988 to 1990, but then it was back to Germany to serve as Command Sgt. Maj. of the 59th Brigade's 197th Ordnance Battalion. Although the junior Command Sgt. Maj. in the Brigade, he was then selected to be the Brigade Command Sgt. Maj.. He played a key role in the retrograde of special weapons from Europe and ensured that all the Brigade's special weapons technicians were reclassified and reassigned before the Brigade's inactivation in 1992.
Siple returned to Redstone Arsenal to serve as Commandant of the Ordnance Missile and Munitions Center and School's Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy. He led his Academy through its accreditation inspection with no deficiencies noted. Based on this outstanding performance, the US Army Ordnance Center and School (USAOC&S) at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, had Siple transferred to its NCO Academy in 1993, where he repeated his achievement, earning praise from the inspectors as having the best Academy in the US Army Training and Doctrine Command.
In recognition of his administrative, training, and leadership skills, Siple was next chosen, in 1994, to be the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 61st Ordnance Brigade at APG. He next assumed duties, from 1996 to 1998, as Command Sgt. Maj. of the now reactivated 59th Ordnance Brigade at Redstone Arsenal, making Siple the only sergeant major to date to command both USAOC&S NCO Academies and serve as Command Sgt. Maj. in both Ordnance training brigades. He rounded out 30 years of service with an assignment as Command Sgt. Maj. of the 191st Ordnance Battalion (Ammunition) in Germany, conducting support missions in Albania, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Command Sergeant Major Siple retired in 2002 but continues to serve the Army and the Ordnance Corps as Operations Officer in the Storage and Distribution Division of the Sierra Army Depot.