THS graduate Tassler promoted to Sergeant Major

By Sarah Greil

Tomahawk Leader Reporter

Tomahawk High School graduate Damion Tassler was promoted this past June to Sergeant Major in the US Army. From the beginning of his military career, entering Basic Training in 2000, to his promotion in 2019, Damion says his journey has been very trying.

Tassler graduated Tomahawk High School in 1995. After graduating, he went to UW-Stevens Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in Psychology and minor in Military Science. In February of 2000, he enlisted in Active Duty Army and departed for Basic Training that same month.

His first assignment as an active duty infantryman was in the 101st Airborne Division, “Air Assault”, for 4 years. After that, he took a year and a half off before joining the Army Reserves in Madison. In 2007 he attended Drill Sergeant School. Upon graduating, he became an instructor at Fort McCoy, WI, teaching combat skills to deploying units from the Army Reserves.

U.S. Army Sergeant Major and 1995 THS graduate Damion Tassler

The next year, he was promoted into the newly formed 86th Training Division at Fort McCoy that was responsible for planning and executing the largest military training exercises in the Army Reserves. He left the 86th Training Division to lead troops once again as a Combat Engineer within the war-hardened 428 Mobility Augmentation Company in Wausau.

During his brief time there, he said he was able to learn critical leadership knowledge under the tutelage of a great command team and conduct a hugely successful training exercise in Hohenfels, Germany. He was soon promoted to Master Sergeant and left the 428th to perform duties at the 397 Engineer Battalion in Eau Claire.

Tassler transferred briefly to the 646 Regional Support Group located in Madison and submitted a promotion packet for Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major. He was selected as a candidate to serve as either Sergeant Major (staff planning and management) or Command Sergeant Major (Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Battalion Commander).

He chose the Command Sergeant Major role because, he says, “this position can potentially have a greater impact and influence on many more junior and senior soldiers.”

Tassler comes from a military family and says he always felt it was his obligation to serve the country as long as he was fit for duty. His wife is a Sheriff’s Office Sergeant, overseeing jail and dispatch operations in Marquette County. She also served in combat operations in Iraqi Freedom within the military police. Both of Tassler brothers (Dana and Derek) entered the Marine Corps after high school. He also had many uncles who served in both wartime and peace.

Tassler says the road ahead of him is hard as he attempts to manage United States Army Sergeants’ Major Academy, his day job as a military exercise planner, his role as command Sergeant Major of a Battalion with over 800 soldiers, and still be an engaged and present husband and father to his three children. He hopes that his future within the uniformed military will hopefully be focused on mentorship, individual engagement, accessibility, as well as teaching/coaching the expectations of conduct that the public expects from a professional, volunteer military.

As for those who are contemplating entering into military service, Tassler advises that it takes constant commitment and sacrifice to serve in the military, but he also says the skills you will gain will be very marketable if/when you get out. He says there is unlimited opportunity to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. He also says that the military has taught him “humility, selfless service, and an incredible sense of belonging.”

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