December 2013

CSM Gail M. Williams

Military Leader

CSM Gail M. Williams, a native of Timmonsville, South Carolina, has had a distinguished military career of 34 years with the South Carolina Army National Guard. CSM Williams entered the Guard in 1978. She was the first female to be promoted to the rank of first sergeant and the first African American sergeant major.

In 2003, CSM Williams reached another historical milestone when she became the first female in the South Carolina Army National Guard promoted to the highest enlisted rank — Command Sergeant Major. At the time, she was one of a half dozen Guard Soldiers to attain the rank.

At the time of her promotion, CSM Williams told the press of her experiences as a woman in the Guard. “As females sometimes we have to really show what we can do, and I don’t mind doing that. There’s a lot of other females that are capable of doing their jobs, and all that they entail, and that females are capable of being the soldiers that we need to be.”

CSM Williams has studied business administration and human resource management and training and development at Limestone College. A registered radiological technologist at Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson, she is a dedicated member of Macedonia Holiness Church in Cartersville, South Carolina. She is a member of the committee for Providence Heart and Soul Race for Women and Red Dress Ambassador.

CSM Williams is the first female to hold the rank in the 228 Signal Brigade, Spartanburg, South Carolina. She was mobilized to Fort Jackson as the command sergeant major for Task Force Northern Regional Medical Command, Operation Enduring Freedom.

Among her numerous awards and decorations, CSM Williams has received the Meritorious Service Medal with Five Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.