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Liz Wilson

I just happened upon your blog. If Emily Perez graduated from West Point, she was a Second Lieutenant, not a Command Sergeant Major. Command Sergeant Major is an enlisted rank, while Second Lieutenant is an officer rank. A Second Lieutenant outranks a Command Sergeant Major, although a Command Sergeant Major has been in the Army for much longer, usually about 20 years.


I'd venture to say that Emily Perez was on patrol because she wanted to be with her soldiers. She sounds like a wonderful patriot.

Liz Wilson

To clarify what a Command Sergeant Major cadet position at West Point means:

Unlike virtually all other bachelor-degree granting institutions in the United States (but like the other military academies), the Academy does not refer to its students as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors; they are instead officially called "fourth class", "third class", "second class", and "first class".

Within the classes, cadets can hold positions of increasing responsibility with a cadet rank:

Fourth Class (Plebe): Cadet Private (Member of Squad).

Third Class (Yearling or Yuk): Cadet Corporal (Team Leader).

Second Class (Cow): Cadet Sergeant (Squad Leader); Platoon Sgt, various staff positions at the Company and Battalion level; Cadet First Sergeant (First Sergeant); Cadet Color Sergeant (Color Guard member), Cadet Sergeant Major (Sergeant Major of a Battalion).

First Class (Firstie): Cadet Lieutenant (Platoon Leader), various staff positions within a Company; Cadet Captain (Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Regimental Commander), various staff positions at the Battalion level up to Brigade level; Cadet First Captain (Brigade Commander), highest position in the Corps of Cadets; Command Sergeant Major, at the Regimental and Brigade level.

CSM in the Corps is a symbolic cadet rank given during college. Upon graduation, the rank of 2LT is awarded.


She had one of our most beloved songs, "The Corps" recited at her funeral. The Corps is a poem, sometimes sung, which espouses the feelings all cadets and graduates feel towards the Long Gray Line and has remained unchanged since its creation in 1902. After her death, "The Corps" was changed, removing all solely male references from it and replacing them with gender neutral terms. That probably doesn't sound like much, but for West Point, an institution rooted in tradition and history it was a huge change.

West Point officers are not just given special assignments; we all serve the same as any officer commissioned from any other source such as ROTC. We lead platoons and later companies into battle just as any officer. The most sought after branch since the War on Terror began has been Infantry. You now have to be in the top of the class to even have a chance at getting it. Infantry is the branch that does the most up close fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

We want to lead soldiers, we will lead from the front and we will do our very best to make sure they all come alive. 2LT Perez's service and sacrifice to her nation will not be forgotten.

Former Rough Rider NCO

Take this comment from a soldier who was there and brought her off of the war zone.

"this article and it's information is complete bullshit. And the author is a disgrace to any type of journalism - that should only tell the truth especially when it comes to the death of a soldier, a citizen, a Hero.
The media will never know the truth and even if they did they wouldn't portray it.
If you want to print a proper informative release do more research and look up soldiers who were there. You will find the truth and the reasons behind such a tragedy."

joel welsh

Formerly SGT Joel Welsh-

I was an "ASSASSIN" as part of the A FSC (forward support company)that you speak of. I was a heavy wheeled vehicle operator in the army. Yup, a truck driver. We had mechanics, cooks, truckers, tankers, infantry, you name it doing "patrols" because the job needed to be done.

My Lt rode out on many a mission with me. I was glad of it, because he was a hell of a shooter.

So you need to think before you speak...

Tragic is the loss of any life. But the LT that died knew what she was doing, just as I did... when she joined. Enlisted, officer, civilian. A bullet knows no difference.

And as for the jab at our assassins that I am damned proud to have served, and survived with????

Anytime you think you want to try me on...
Just jump out in front of my M2 .50 caliber machine gun which was mounted on my truck.

I fired expert - and zeroed out to 2500 Meters.

How fast can you run?


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