Cynthia Benita Howard, USASMA Class 56, is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. She enlisted in the United States Army in November 1986. She attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and earned the Military Occupational Skill (88M) Motor Transport Operator.
CSM Howard served in the Army for over 30 years and in her rise from private to command sergeant major she served in every leadership position in the Army, culminating as a Command Sergeant Major, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Department of the Army Transportation Commandant. Of note, CSM Howard was the first female to serve as the U.S. Army’s Transportation Corps Regimental Command Sergeant Major, the highest ranking official Senior Enlisted person in the Transportation Corps.
Among her many assignments include service on the joint military staffs with assignments ranging from battalion level to the nomative level, including several overseas assignments and five combat deployments. Other noteworthy assignments include service with the 501st Transportation Company in Kaiserslautern, Germany; 368th Transportation Company at Fort Story, Virginia; 541st Transportation Company at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment and the 58th Transportation Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; 46th Transportation Company at Camp Humphries, Korea; 89th Medium Truck Company and the 7th Transportation Group at Fort Eustis, Virginia; Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Fort Stewart, Georgia; 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, and the 2nd Staff and Faculty, 71st Transportation Battalion at Fort Lee, Virginia.
CSM Howard holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University and a Bachler’s of Science in Psychology from Excelsior College. She is also a Licensed Practical Nurse. She has completed all levels of the U.S. Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Leadership courses to include the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (Class 56). Other notability courses she has completed include the U.S. Army’s Drill Sergeant School, the Instructor Training Course, and the U.S. Army’s Air Assault Course.
Her military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit Medal (3rd award); Bronze Star (2nd award); Meritorious Service Medal (7th award), Army Commendation Medal (3rd award); Army Achievement Medal (6th award); Army Good Conduct Medal (11th award), and numerous other service and foreign awards. Her special skill badges are the Air Assault Badge and the United States Army Drill Sergeant Badge. CSM Howard is also a recipient of the Transportation Corps Order of Saint Christopher Award, the Ordnance order of Samuel Sharpe Award, and the General Brehon B. Somervell Award for Excellence.