Command Senior Enlisted Leader

Command Chief Master Sergeant Benjamin J. Higginbotham

United States European Command CJTF-HOA Command Senior Enlisted Leader Biography

Command Chief Master Sergeant Benjamin J Higginbotham is the command senior enlisted leader of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. He serves as the principal advisor to the CJTF-HOA commander on all issues affecting health, morale, welfare, and professional development for approximately 2,000 Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines joint service personnel. Additionally, he provides assessments and recommendations to the commander, deputy commander, chief of staff, and directors on key leader engagements and proposed projects affecting African partners.    

Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing—“America’s Cryptologic Wing”     —at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

CMSgt Higginbotham grew up in Clint, Texas and after completing basic training in 1996, he attended Ground Radio technical training at Keesler Air Force Base (AFB), Miss. Since then, his assignments have included bases in Florida, Germany, North Carolina, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, and Maryland. He has performed many duties in the communications/cyber systems career field including additional duty first sergeant, plans and exercises, squadron, and group superintendent.

He has participated in contingency operations in the following named operations: Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Allied Force, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Willing Spirit, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

His professional military education includes Ground Radio technical training, Airmen Leadership School as a Distinguished Graduate and Leadership award, Non Commissioned Officer Academy , Air University Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Course 14, Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education at the Joint Forces Staff College, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, and Cyberspace Superintendent Course. He has earned Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electronic Systems Technology with the Community College of the Air Force and a Baccalaureate Degree in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security with Saint Leo University.

His personal decorations include the Bronze Star with 1 oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, Kosovo Campaign Medal with 1 bronze star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 bronze stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with 1 bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the NATO Medal with 2 bronze stars.

(Current as of April 2017)


Leadership Senior Enlisted Leader

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Command Senior Enlisted Leader leads through caring and compassion

In May, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa service members bid adieu to the command senior enlisted leader, who had served them for two years. Since the new CSEL wasn’t going to arrive until the end of June, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Claudell Taylor was selected to fill that role temporarily.

Lasting legacies: Command Sgt. Maj. departs CJTF-HOA after two years

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, CJTF-HOA, command senior enlisted leader, her devotion to duty, professionalism and visionary leadership significantly impacted CJTF-HOA. The 30-year U.S. Marine leaves behind a legacy of professionalism and diversity through unity.