A.J.G.M. (André) Odenkirchen
Sergeant Major of the Royal Netherlands Army
Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) André Odenkirchen was born in Roermond, in the south of the Netherlands, on 19 June 1957. He graduated from high school in 1975 and entered the army engineer corps in March 1976. He received his basic training at the Royal Military Non-Commissioned Officers’ School, followed by his trades training at the Engineer Training Centre. SMA Odenkirchen has also attended the following courses: All the required NCO career courses, Instructor’s Course for Officers and NCOs, NBC Course (Key Position), Explosives and Mine Scout Course, Combat Engineer’s Course, including Leopard Bridge Launcher and Leopard Armoured Combat Engineer Vehicle, as well as the Pathfinder course at Ft Benning. All the NCO career courses were taken at the Royal Military NCO’s School.
He graduated from the United States Army Sergeant Major Course, Class 49, in El Paso, Texas. Most recently, in 2005, he attained a bachelor’s degree with a major in Leadership and Management from the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands
SMA Odenkirchen has held numerous key positions throughout his career. Most notably, Platoon Sergeant Combat Engineer, Platoon Sergeant Airmobile Engineer, Sergeant Major Operations with 11 Engineer Company Airmobile Brigade, Company Sergeant Major of 11 Engineer Company Airmobile Brigade and Senior Instructor for officers and senior NCOs at the Engineer Training School. His first Command Sergeant Major (CSM) position was with 11 Mechanised Engineer Battalion, followed by CSM of 43 Mechanised Brigade. During his tenure, 43 Brigade was designated as the NATO Rapid Response Force 4. His most recent CSM position was CSM TRADOC RNLA.
During his 34-year professional army career, SMA Odenkirchen served for six years in West Germany, completed one tour with UNIFIL in Lebanon, completed two tours of duty in Bosnia and most recently served as CSM of Regional Command South ISAF based in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
SMA Odenkirchen has received the following awards and decorations: the UN Interim Force in Lebanon Medal, the Dutch Commemorative Medal for UN operations with Lebanon clasp, the UN Protection Medal (UNPROFOR), the Dutch Commemorative Medal for UN Operations (UNPROFOR), the IFOR medal for IFOR troops in Bosnia, the Dutch Commemorative Medal for IFOR, the Dutch commemorative Medal for ISAF, the NATO medal for ISAF, the Long Service/Good Conduct Medal and the Medal for the Nijmegen International Four Days’ Marches. During his period in Germany, he also received the red cord of honour.
His hobbies include cycling, tennis and soccer. He is married to Annelies and they have two children: Stephan (born 1989) and Marloes (born 1991). In addition to Dutch, he speaks English and German.