Senior Enlisted Leader



Command Sergeant Major James H. Mays is the Senior Enlisted Leader for the Louisiana National Guard.  He serves as the principal advisor to the Adjutant General on all Soldier and Airmen related matters. Together they oversee the training, deployment, and coordination of programs, policies, and plans affecting more than 11,000 members of the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard.  Sergeant Major Mays’ primary focus as Senior Enlisted Leader is to provide leadership and guidance to ensure Soldiers, Airmen, and Family readiness.

Sergeant Major Mays enlisted into the Louisiana Army National Guard in July 1974 and attended Advanced Individual Training as a 63B (Light Wheel Vehicle Mechanic) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.   Throughout his career, Sergeant Major Mays served in various positions of leadership to include Platoon Sergeant, Construction Engineer Supervisor, First Sergeant, Post Sergeant Major, and Task Force Command Sergeant Major.  Sergeant Major Mays was promoted to Command Sergeant Major March 17, 1995 serving as Battalion Command Sergeant Major for the 199th Support Battalion (September 1995 to September 1997) and 1st Battalion, 156th Armor (September 1997 to November 2001).  Sergeant Major Mays also served as the Brigade Command Sergeant Major of the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2004 to December 2005.  In December 2005, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he served as Task Force Command Sergeant Major to March 2006.  Sergeant Major Mays served as Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Louisiana Army National Guard July 2008 to July 2013.  In July 2013, Sergeant Major Mays was selected to serve as the State Senior Enlisted Leader.

Sergeant Major Mays is a graduate of Buckeye High School.  His military education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer’s Course, the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer’s Course, and the Reserve Component Primary Leadership Instructor Course.  He is a graduate of Class 18 of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (1992) and the Command Sergeants Major Course (1995).

Sergeant Major Mays awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster,  Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Non- Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral 4,  Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Gold Hourglass and “M” Device, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral 2,  Army Reserve Component Training Ribbon with Numeral 3, Combat Action Badge, Louisiana Legion of Merit, Louisiana Cross of Merit, Louisiana Commendation Medal with 1 Bronze Fleur-de-lis, Louisiana War Cross with 1 Bronze Fleur-de-lis,  Louisiana Emergency Service Ribbon with 4 Bronze Fleur-de-lis, Louisiana General Excellence Medal with 2 Bronze Fleur-de-lis, and the Louisiana Longevity Ribbon with 2 Bronze Fleur-de-lis.  Sergeant Major Mays is a member of the Louisiana Army National Guard Enlisted Association and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.

Sergeant Major Mays resides in Pineville, Louisiana. He is married to the former Cindy Spence and the father of three children: Brandy, Jeffery, and Jeremy; and grandfather to seven grandchildren.