NEWS | May 24, 2021

29th Infantry Division welcomes new Command Sergeant Major

By Staff Sgt. Marc Heaton 29th Infantry Division

Command Sgt. Maj. Daryl Plude took responsibility as the command sergeant major of the Fort Belvoir-based 29th Infantry Division from Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Ferris May 8, 2021, in Bowling Green, Virginia. Maj. Gen. John Rhodes, commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, presided over the ceremony that included an exchange of the noncommissioned officer sword that represents the change of responsibility as the division’s senior noncommissioned officer from Ferris to Plude.
 
Ferris, who has served as the 29th’s command sergeant major since April 2019, will be retiring after more than four decades of service in the Virginia Army National Guard.
 
Plude most recently served as the command sergeant major for the Bowling Green-based 91st Cyber Brigade.
 
"I look forward to the opportunity that this position brings and the great things we will do together as we mobilize for an overseas mission," said Plude. "The Soldiers from this Division continue to carry on the great legacy that is the 29th Infantry Division."
 
The 29th recently began federal active duty for a 10-month deployment in the Central Command Area of Operations as Task Force Spartan to provide leadership, command, control and in-depth staff analysis for Operation Spartan Shield.
 
Biographical summary for Command Sergeant Maj. Daryl Plude:
Command Sergeant Major Daryl Plude enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard in March 1990 and served as a multi-channel communications operator with D-230th Signal Battalion. Due to transformation, he transferred to the Maryland Guard to continue service as a signal Soldier until transferring back to the Virginia Guard in 1992, where he was assigned to 2d BDE-29th Infantry Division as an intelligence analyst and radio operator. In 1995 he was promoted to sergeant and transferred to the 329th Area Support Group, where he continued as an Intel Sergeant. In 1996, he transferred to the 229th Military Police Company and became a military policeman where he served as a team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant. On September 11, 2001 he took a detachment of 50 MPs to the Army National Guard Readiness Center where they served for nine months conducting security operations. Shortly after returning from this deployment, the unit was called to action in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2003-April 2004 and conducted prison operations at Abu Ghraib prison. The 229th was later awarded the meritorious unit citation for its conduct during its time there. 

Upon his return, Plude was assigned to 91st Troop Command as a special projects NCO and took part in the stationing of the 266th MP Company and 2005 Boy Scout Jamboree. In August 2005, he was selected to return to the 229th as the first sergeant, where he took the company to New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina. In August 2008, he was selected to serve as a command sergeant major for the 276th Engineer Battalion, where he deployed from September 2008-November 2009 as a route clearance battalion in Afghanistan. The battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Award for its actions in combat during that year. 

He continued service with the 276th and concurrently as the Senior Enlisted Leader for VA-CERFP (CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package). In June 2016, he was selected as command sergeant major for the 91st Troop Command and led them through their transformation to the 91st Cyber Brigade. He continued to serve in this role until his selection as the 29th Infantry Division CSM in March 2021. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.

In his civilian career he serves as a sergeant supervising the bomb squad and aviation units with the Virginia Beach Police Department. He is a graduate of the FBI hazardous devices school, where he certified as a public safety bomb tech. Prior to his current assignment, he served as a SWAT team leader, investigative supervisor, patrol supervisor, recruiting/hiring supervisor, and police academy supervisor. Prior to promotion he served as both a patrolman and detective.  He recently completed his 27th year with the Department.
 
Biographical summary for Command Sergeant Maj. Alan Ferris:
Prior to serving as the command sergeant major for the 29th, Ferris served as the Virginia National Guard Command Senior Enlisted Leader. He is also a retired police lieutenant for the City of Covington Police Department.

Ferris served as the command sergeant major for 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry during the unit’s deployment to Iraq from June 2007 to June 2008. From June 2004 to August 2005 he served in Afghanistan as the CSM mentor and senior enlisted advisor for the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps as part of the Regional Command Assistance Group-Kandahar, Afghanistan. He also deployed with 76th Infantry Brigade from the Indiana National Guard to Afghanistan.

Ferris enlisted in the Virginia National Guard in February 1981 as an infantry Soldier and spent the early years of his career as a rifleman, machine gunner, team leader, squad leader and platoon sergeant in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment. In 1997, he became the first sergeant of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry and then served as the first sergeant for the Headquarters Company of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. From 2003 to 2005, he served as an operations noncommissioned officer for 1st Battalion and the 116th IBCT. He was promoted to sergeant major in October 2006 and began serving as the 3rd Battalion command sergeant major.

Ferris is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, the U.S. Army War College Executive Leaders Course and the Keystone Course from the National Defense University as well as Air Assault and Rappel Master Schools. He has an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and Criminal Justice from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Liberty University in Interdisciplinary Studies.