In 1979, Sgt. Maj. James (Chip) Herrell started his career in Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Advanced Individual Training at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, as an Allied Trades Metal Worker.
Upon completion, he was assigned with A Troop, 5th Cavalry at Fort Knox, Kentucky His next assignment brought him to 515th Engineer Company at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Herrell was later reassigned to be a Drill Sergeant with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Training Brigade (OSUT).
From 1989 to 1992, Herrell was reassigned to 9th Ordnance Company, 59th Ordnance Brigade in Miesau, Germany where he was a Platoon Sergeant for a Service and Support Platoon who provided technical support to the largest classified munitions storage site in the European theater. Later, he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division NCO Academy as a Senior Instructor.
He was then assigned as the First Sergeant for a Headquarters and Headquarters detachment, 703rd Main Support Battalion and later selected ahead of his peers to be the 1SG of Charlie Company, the largest maintenance company in the Battalion. In 1995, he was assigned to HHC, 61st Ordnance Brigade NCOIC to the Director of Instruction. He was responsible for the technical and administrative interface between CASCOM and U.S. Army Ordnance Center & Schools; along with overseeing the development, conduct, evaluation, and quality assurance of 37 MOS's. In addition, he orchestrated the development of new learning technologies, supervised the training, evaluation, and development of over 600 enlisted and civilian instructors teaching over 11,000 students annually. He also certified as one of the only satellite video tele-training instructors out of 600 instructors. Upon his request, Herrell was assigned his third First Sergeant position with the B Company, 143d Ordnance Battalion.
In 1998, he was reassigned back to Germany with 18th Corps Support Battalion, V Corps USAREUR as the NCOIC for the Battalion S2/3. In 2000, he was assigned as the Personnel Proponency Sgt. Maj. responsible for the human resource and proponency life cycle functions of recruiting, education, distribution, deployment, sustainment, professional development, separations, and force structure for 25 Military Occupational Specialties and 48,000 soldiers in the Ordnance Corps Career Management Field. Prior to being assigned to this position, Sgt. Maj. Herrell had just graduated on the Commandant's List from the Sergeants Major Academy in the top ten percentile with all superior ratings. During his assignment as Proponency Sergeant Major, he accomplished many initiatives. He directed the Army's largest MOS consolidation efforts which involved 7 MOS's and associated force structure for over 64,000 employees in preparation of modular force design.
With 26 years of dedicated service to the Ordnance Corps, Sgt. Maj. Herrell continues to serve the Ordnance Corps and the Army. Presently, he works for Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), at APG, Maryland.
Sgt. Maj. James (Chip) Herrell served the Ordnance Corps with distinguished honor for twenty-six years. He was a Soldier's Soldier who lived by the Army NCO Creed and Values. He was always able to command immediate respect and admiration from soldiers, peers, and superiors because of the rigid standards he himself met and set for soldiers. He was extremely resourceful, enthusiastic, and possessed all the traits associated with excellence. He leaves behind a legacy of a true leader who led and set the example at all times, both on and off duty, and demanded nothing but the same from the people he served.