David Lee Stewart, born 30 August 1950 in Columbus, Mississippi, joined the Army in 1974. After Basic Combat Training at Fort Ord, California, he graduated Advanced Individual Training as an automotive and tracked vehicle mechanic at Fort Ord and Fort Knox, Kentucky. He then served in the 1st Battalion, 3d Field Artillery in the 2d Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, from 1975 to 1979, becoming a Motor Sergeant while still a junior noncommissioned officer.
From 1979 to 1982, Stewart served as Motor Sergeant in the 2d Battalion, 36th Infantry in the 3d Armored Division in Germany. He then joined the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Fielding Team as Maintenance and Deprocessing NCO, fielding the Bradley to more than 25 battalions in the United States and Germany from 1982 to 1989. Stewart next served in the 2d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, GA. Serving as Squadron Motor Sergeant from 1989 to 1991, he deployed for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, where he coordinated the fielding of the M1A1 Abrams tank to the squadron prior to the commencement of the ground war. The squadron maintained a 94 percent readiness rate during the war.
Upon returning to the United States, Stewart served as First Sergeant of the squadron's Air Cavalry Troop and then as First Sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop. That he held these positions, normally filled by NCOs with Aviation and Armor backgrounds, is testimony to Stewart's leadership abilities. He improved these units' property accountability, maintenance, physical fitness, discipline, and marksmanship.
In 1994, he served as the 24th Infantry Division's Support Operations Sergeant, coordinating the maintenance, supply, and transportation efforts of the Division Support Command's four multi-functional support battalions. Appointed to Command Sergeant Major in 1995, he was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division's 224th Forward Support Battalion, which was reflagged as the 26th Forward Support Battalion, 3d Infantry Division. His battalion provided flawless support to the division's 2d Brigade during a demanding rotation to the National Training Center followed by a deployment to Kuwait during Operation INTRINSIC ACTION.
In 1996, Stewart assumed duties as Command Sergeant Major of the 3d Infantry Division's 703d Main Support Battalion, the largest battalion in the division with more than 1,200 Soldiers. He returned to Germany in 1997 as Command Sergeant Major of the Combat Equipment Group, Europe, with more than 2,000 Soldiers and civilian employees in three battalions spread across four countries, responsible for storing and maintaining more than 3.5 billion dollars of war reserve stocks.
Stewart returned to the United States in 1999 for his culminating assignment as Command Sergeant Major of the Army Field Support Command at Rock Island Arsenal. In support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, he deployed with 1,000 of his Soldiers and civilians to form the US Army Materiel Command Logistics Support Element, an organization that swelled to 8,000 personnel. Command Sergeant Major Stewart retired in 2004 after 30 years of exemplary service.