FORT GORDON, Ga. - He’s a soldier that won’t take no for an answer. His name: Sergeant Major Mark Schmitt. Sgt. Maj. Schmitt overcame health challenges and continues to serve as a leader.

He’s a leader.

“My job in the United States Army Signal School is to take privates that come out of basic training and then I manage advanced individual training for them. I also manage the training, education and development program for those students.” said Sgt. Maj. Mark Schmitt.

He’s driven.

“Everything we do is for a purpose. I’m passionate about working with the soldiers, making them better people.” said Sgt. Maj. Schmitt. 

Perhaps most of all, he exemplifies a determined soldier.

"I've had five back surgeries, I have spinal cord stimulator implant, two bicep surgeries and I still do it. I never thought I'd have a medical board in my future. Saw two of them and beat them.” said Sgt. Maj. Schmitt. 

Sgt. Maj. Schmitt didn’t let the possibility of no from a medical board get to him. For him, no was not an option. This was only the beginning.

“I fought with that. I went all the way up to General Robert Brown at the Fort Benning headquarters and he elected to keep me and do a medical reclassification board. Because I reclassed so late in my career, I was told I would never see the rank of E8 and I’ve done that, done a First Sergeant job and now I’m a Sergeant Major.” said Sgt. Maj. Schmitt. 

He joined the Army in 1998 as an Infantryman, deploying to Bosnia, Egypt and Iraq. After reclass, he went to Afghanistan. He calls the experience humbling - learning every role matters.

“That’s the number one important thing, whatever your job is, do it to the best of your capability so we can all do ours.” said Sgt. Maj. Schmitt. 

FOX54 salutes Sgt. Maj. Mark Schmitt.

“Be strong in the face of adversity and then definitely do what’s right.” said Sgt. Maj. Schmitt. 

He hopes to reach the rank of Command Sergeant Major.

Copyright 2023 WFXG. All rights reserved.