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Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Phillip D. Gearlds began his military career in 1981 after enlisting into the Kentucky Army National Guard and was employed full time by the Guard from 1985 until he retired on 31 March 2009.
 
Since CSM Gearlds enlisted in the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1981 he has held all leadership positions available to an NCO, from Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major and an instructor for the Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy/Regional Training Institute. CSM Gearlds deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.
 
CSM Gearlds’ last duty assignment was an appointment as the 6th State Command Sergeant Major of the Commonwealth of Kentucky on January 18, 2005 by Major General Donald C. Storm (Army) and continued to serve under Major General Edward Tonini (Air Force).
 
CSM Gearlds education consists of the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC) and the Unites States Army Sergeants Major Academy.  CSM Gearlds holds an Associate of Technical Study Degree in Human Recourses and Military Science from Hocking College where he graduated with honors and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Society. 

CSM Gearlds major awards and decorations include: Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with one Silver & two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal (Silver Clasp with two Loops), Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Star), South West Asia Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device-Silver Hour Glass-Numeral #2, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral #4, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwaiti Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal, Kentucky Merit Ribbon (with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Kentucky Commendation Ribbon (with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Kentucky Service Ribbon (with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Kentucky State Active Duty Ribbon (with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Kentucky Recruiting Ribbon (with one Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Expert Badge – Grenade, Sharp Shooter Badge – Pistol (9MM), The Adjutant General Staff Identification Badge and The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara Award.