CSM(Retired) Samuel Rhodes- Founder of Warrior Outreach

On average 1 in 5 Veterans returning from war are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress.    US Army (Retired) Command Sergeant Major Sam Rhodes knows how a Veteran’s time in combat can ravage not only the body, but also the mind.     Many Veterans suffer daily with horrific memories directly related to their combat experience.

Sam’s vision is to help Veterans from all of America’s wars cope with Post Traumatic Stress and overcome suicidal thoughts by using Resilience methods.    He was one of the first Senior Leaders in the Military to openly state that he had issues with Mental Health.   Rhodes served 29 years in the U.S. Army — to include 30 months in combat in Iraq.

Sam founded  Warrior Outreach Inc. and conducts the Warrior Outreach Horsemanship Program at Fort Benning, Georgia twice yearly.   He lectures on “10 Steps to Building Resilience” in an effort to help our Veterans overcome the stigma of their physical and psychological injuries.

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Who Is Sam Rhodes?

CSM (Retired) Samuel M. Rhodes Sr. was born in Ringgold, Georgia and entered the United States Army on April 27, 1980. He completed basic and advanced Infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia in June 1980. He also completed Basic and Advanced Armor training at Fort Knox, Kentucky in May 1995.

He has served in numerous enlisted leadership positions to include Squad Leader, Section Leader, Platoon Sergeant for an Infantry Platoon as well as an Armor Platoon, First Sergeant of an Infantry Company as well an Armor Company, Squadron Operations SGM, Brigade Operations SGM, Regimental Operations SGM, Squadron CSM, 2nd/11th ACR located at Fort Irwin, California and CSM, 192D Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, GA.

He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom 1, 2 with 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment as the Regimental Operations Sergeant major and 2nd Squadron 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment as the Command Sergeant major for 2nd Squadron with a total of 44 months Combat experience during his career. His unit received the Presidential Unit Citation while deployed to Iraq with the 2nd ACR during OIF 1 & 2.

He successfully completed numerous military schools to include the Primary Leader Development Course, Basic and Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course, Air Assault Course, Drill Sergeant Course, Battle Staff Course, and Class 29, U.S. Army Sergeants’ Major Academy.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (1st OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (7th OLC), Army Commendation Medal (5th OLC), Army Achievement Medal (8th OLC), Good Conduct Medal (8th award), National Defense Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with numeral 4, Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 2. Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drill Sergeant Badge.

He graduated from Trident University, Cypress, CA with a Masters Degree in Business Administration He also has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from TUI, and a Associates Degree in General Studies from Central Texas College.

He was awarded the 2009 RSO Lockheed Martin Inc. Volunteer of the Year for Community Service. He was awarded 2010 Executive Vice President Award for Excellence and the 2010 NOVA award for Lockheed Martin.

He is author of “Changing the Military Culture of Silence” Recognized across the Army as the first Senior Leader to openly stat he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. He travels and speaks across the country .

In 2008 he founded the Wounded Warrior Horsemanship Program which he converted into Warrior Outreach Inc. (a Georgia Non - Profit Organization) in 2012. He is currently supporting the community as President of the Fort Benning Sergeants Major Association. He is also on the House of Heroes Board of Directors, Invictious Foundation Board of Directors, and President Trident University Alumni Chapter for Columbus, GA.

CSM (R) Rhodes Design and Developed, tested, revised and ready for use; the Resilience Goal Setting APP program was recognized as a groundbreaking, state-of-the-art iPhone, Android and iPad application and served as the action officer for the development if the Resilience Goals book published 29 Feb 12.

He is the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program Manager for the Maneuver Center of Excellence - Directorate of Training and Doctrine, Fort Benning, GA.

He is married to the former Catherine Carney from Lebanon, Ohio. They have seven children and ten grand children and one great grandson.

2014 Retiree Volunteer of the Year

After volunteering more than 1,000 hours last year to help soldiers and their families, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Sam Rhodes said Tuesday there is still more work to be done.

“If you call me, I’m coming,” Rhodes said April 15, 2014 after receiving the 2014 Retiree Volunteer of the Year Award at Fort Benning. “The need is really great.”

Sam Rhodes Receives The 2014 “Retiree Volunteer Of The Year” Award At Fort Benning
Sam Rhodes Receives The 2014 “Retiree Volunteer Of The Year” Award At Fort Benning

Rhodes joined more than 100 soldiers, spouses, retired soldiers and other volunteers for recognition in a packed Derby Auditorium at McGinnis-Wickam Hall. Maj. Gen. H.R. McMaster, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, presented volunteers with a crystal and a certificate.

Some top volunteers also received gift certificates, special parking on post and a trip to Florida.

Starla De Saussure, Army volunteer coordinator on post, said volunteers logged more than 101,468 service hours on the installation with a value of more than $2 million.

In addition to helping soldiers, De Saussure said, volunteers serve as coaches for soccer, basketball, football and other sports. They are active in teaching and working at Santa’s Castle to provide toys to military families at Christmas.

Sam Rhodes and his Mother
Rhodes, pictured with his Mom Martha Irwin displays were he got the stamina to help others every day as the Fort Benning Volunteer of the Year for 2014. His Mom recently turned 77 Years old. Rhodes said, “I am blessed to have her energy and I hope to keep up the volunteer work for a long time.”

“Volunteers are very important to the organizations,” she said. “If we didn’t have volunteers, a lot of organizations and programs would not be able to function properly.”Rhodes has been busy helping veterans since he retired in 2009 after 29 years of service. He founded the Warrior Outreach Inc., which includes a Horsemanship Program. He also serves as an adviser to House of Heroes, a nonprofit group that repairs the homes of military and police veterans.

So far this year, Rhodes said, he has volunteered about 300 hours by staying busy working on houses. “We’ve got a house this weekend,” he said. “We’ve got 12 soldiers and family members coming out to do that home.”The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Lynda Morgan, who not only supports the military but also civilian communities. She served as vice president of Santa’s Castle, raising money to buy toys for families in need.

The Volunteer Family of the Year was presented to the Crapo Family led by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Crapo of the 198th Infantry Brigade.

The family of four raised money for Santa’s Castle and helped distribute toys to more than 300 families.De Saussure said people should think about giving back to the community no matter how small the effort. “It has a significant impact if everybody took the time out to volunteer,” she said.