Our Experts

Thomas Gills
SME
Thomas Gills
SGM (Ret.) Thomas Gills (M.A., public administration), after more than 30+ years’ experience as a human resource specialist and enlisted leader Tom's nominative assignments included Operations Sergeant Major of the Human Resources Command; Executive Officer to the Sergeant Major of the Army; the HRC Enlisted Promotions Branch Chief culminating as the Department of the Army G-1 Sergeant Major. He has many operational assignments, including as Senior Enlisted Leader of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. He is the author of the Enlisted Soldier’s Guide, 8th Ed., and was inducted in the Adjutant General’s Corps, Regimental Hall of Fame in 2016
Christopher Greca
Senior SME
Christopher Greca
CSM (Ret.) Christopher K. Greca retired from the United States Army in 2017 after a Distinguished 31-year military career. During his service, Chris worked at the most senior levels for both the Army and Department of Defense, including over 40 months in Afghanistan, Iraq, and across the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). He served as the senior enlisted advisor to the US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and is a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment for his service in both 2nd and 1st Ranger Battalions. Chris has been very public about the effects of service and the emotional, physical, and mental scars of conflict. He was featured in a Public Service Announcement for the Department of Defense called the “Real Warrior Program and he routinely shares his personal story of “emotional numbness." In retirement founded 5th Principle LLC, a leadership consulting firm who specializes in character development and team building and has served as a speaker, consultant, and as a Senior Mentor for the Nominative Leader Course (NLC). He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University.
Frank Grippe
Senior SME
Frank Grippe
CSM (Ret.) Frank Grippe entered the Army in April 1981 and trained as a light infantryman and graduated from Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. A wounded warrior with many operational assignments as a rifleman and enlisted leader in airborne and ranger units he also served as an ROTC Senior Military Instructor at San Diego State University. As a nominative command sergeant major Frank served as the senior enlisted advisor to the 101st Airborne Division and the Multi-National Division North and of the I Corps. His final assignment was as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the United States Central Command coming from duties as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq command sergeant major.
Brian Lindsey
SME
Brian Lindsey
CSM (Ret.) Brian K. Lindsey (M.A., human relations), born into the Army at Fort Hood, Texas Brian served 30 plus years as a soldier and field artilleryman in many operational assignments. He had duties as a drill sergeant, an observer/controller at the Army's National Training Center and went on to serve as the senior enlisted advisor of the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence at Ft Sill. At the INCOP he helped shape NCO 2020 Strategy and in crafting NCO Leader Core Competencies. In post military career he has served as an adjunct instructor for Upper Iowa University and Central Texas College.

Anthony Stoneburg
SME
Anthony Stoneburg
CSM (Ret.) Anthony Stoneburg (M.A., human resources), after more than 30years of service to the Army Anthony has had extensive leadership, leadership training, and talent management experience. He spent 24 years assigned to U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) where he served at various levels to include the Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of the U.S. Army Recruiting & Retention College, and as the CSM of USAREC.
Melissa McFrazier
SME
Melissa McFrazier
Born and raised in Taunton, Massachusetts, CSM (Ret.) Melissa McFrazier was trained and certified as a Combat Medic. Melissa has held numerous key leadership positions throughout her military career, to include Drill Sergeant, First Sergeant (2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division, Baumholder, GE), and Command Sergeant Major. She led her Soldiers through two successful, extended deployments to Iraq, and consistently placed great emphasis on sponsorship, mentorship, and Soldier/NCO development, with the goal of teaching, coaching and mentoring the leaders of tomorrow.

Katherine Bingley
SME
Katherine Bingley
Transitioning Military Police Officer with more than 20 years of proven experience in the United States Army. Accomplished measurable results while leading teams of 12 - 40 in large organizations of up to 160 Soldiers in a dynamic, fast - paced environment. Possesses a comprehensive background in Military Command Level Leadership and Formal Instruction derived from conducting domestic and global operations in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Managed risk upon multiple lines to protect assets, property, and equipment valued over $30M while meeting the expectations of senior leadership. Possesses extensive knowledge in Law Enforcement and Security Management, Military Decision Making Process, and Army Training Development Capabilities. Recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and multiple awards for outstanding performance and professionalism in the United States Army. Currently working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership. Graduate of numerous military schools and training courses.
Derek B. Johnson
SME
Derek B. johnson
Derek D. Johnson held the position as the Deputy Chief of Staff G1 Sergeant Major of the United States Army whose department was responsible for policies that impact the total Army on Leader Development, Professional development, recruiting, workforce management, organizational change management and Talent Management/Acquisition as the senior enlisted Human Resource Professional. He received his MBA in Business Administration from Trident University and Master Resilient Training qualification.

Brunk Conley
SME
Brunk Conley
CSM Conley is currently President and CEO of Conca Consulting. He began consulting in October of 2016. He recently completed his term as President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Oregon. He was the 10th Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard. He entered the position in September 2012 before leaving active duty in September 2016. CSM Conley’s immediate previous assignment was as State Command Sergeant Major for the Oregon National Guard for over 6000 Soldiers. He served on active duty in the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 1982-1986. He served in the Oregon Army National Guard, 1986-2016. CSM Conley served the United States in support of overseas operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as domestically in support of the post-Hurricane Katrina cleanup in New Orleans. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western Oregon University and a master’s degree in Political Science from American Military University. In his civilian career, he has taught high school chemistry and physics.

David Turnbull
SME
David Turnbull
CSM (R) David Turnbull enlisted into the US. Army as an Infantryman from Boston MA. He served in various Light Infantry, and airborne units throughout his career to include ten years with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He is a class 52 graduate of the US. Army Sergeant Majors Academy and earned his master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University. His operational assignments include Operation Restore Democracy in the Republic of Haiti, Operation Safe Haven in Panama, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as Battalion CSM of the 1/501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, and Operation Iraqi Freedom as CSM with the newly activated 4/25th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) for 15 months. His last assignment was as the Command Sergeant Major of the Combined Arms Center, FT. Leavenworth Kansas. He retired in 2018 with 34 years of military service.

Upon retirement, David and his family relocated to Wasilla, Alaska. He began his second career with Purdue University Global, as Executive Director for Military Solutions. David leads a small team of military outreach specialists that work on an individual level to assist Service members, their families, and veterans in their pursuit of higher education, as well as a larger scale in assisting the military branches to optimize their military training and education through specialized degree programs.
James (Jim) King
SME
James (Jim) King
Sergeant Major James (Jim) King served on active duty from July 31, 1980, to November 1, 2006. Jim held enlisted leadership positions in both the Infantry and Military Intelligence branches, ranging from rifleman to Sergeant Major. Jim’s military education includes all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System culminating with USASMA Class 54. He is a graduate of Airborne School, Air Assault School, Ranger School, Pathfinder School, Long Range Surveillance Course, Battle Staff NCO Course, Joint Forces Staff College – C4ISR Course, Defense Language Institute- Basic Spanish, Electronic Warfare Operators Course, Master Fitness Trainer Course, and Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management -CONUS. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Argosy University. Jim’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), Joint Service Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and U.S Army Achievement Medal. He earned the Ranger tab, Parachutist, Air Assault and Pathfinder badges, Expert Infantryman Badge, and 18th Airborne Corp. Recondo Badge.
Laura Schmitz
SME
Laura Schmitz
Laura Schmitz serves as Topsarge Business Solutions resident data analyst and consultant for all things data-related. She has achieved her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M University and is both CPCM and SCIP certified. She has worked as a business and data analyst for the last fifteen years for such companies as the McLane Company, as well as Aramco.
Mike Schultz
SME
Mike Schultz
Command Sergeant Major Mike Schultz retired in October 2019 after 34 years of distinguished service in the Army. CSM Schultz served as the 10th Senior Enlisted Advisor assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Washington, D.C. Prior to this assignment, CSM Schultz was selected as the 11th Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Reserve. As the Army Reserve’s top noncommissioned officer, he represented the interests of more than 205,000 Soldiers, civilians, and family members. CSM Schultz has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. His military education culminated with his graduation from the National Defense University Keystone Course, in Washington, D.C.

CSM Schultz is currently employed by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Largo, Florida. He was selected by Sheriff Robert Gualtieri in 2019 as the Manager of his Sheriff’s Leadership Institute, tasked with developing innovative leadership training for almost 3,000 employees. CSM Schultz is responsible for the research and development, facilitation, coordination, and training for all agency leadership courses as well as the Career Development Program, Mentoring Program, Resiliency, and Wellness Programs. CSM Schultz is completing a Ph.D. in Education, (Organizational Leadership). He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida). He previously served as a senior facilitator at the Center for Strategic Leadership at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the Nominative Leadership Course.
Steve Payton
SME
Steve Payton
Steven Payton is a native of Grenada, Mississippi. He enlisted into the U.S. Army on 27 August 1986 and over 33 years rendering faithful service to the Nation. He graduated from the Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training Courses at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as a 13 Foxtrot Fire Support Specialist. Steven graduated from the United States Army Sergeant’s Major Course in June of 2006 and was promoted to Sergeant Major shortly after that. During his service in the U.S. Army, he was privileged to serve in numerous commands, staff, and leadership positions throughout the world and here at home, including Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Fort Bragg, Ft. Polk, and the Pentagon. Steve completed all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System to include the United States Army Sergeants Major Course, and numerous professional and key leader courses for the U.S. Army. In his final duty assignment as a Soldier, Steve was selected by the Chief of Staff U.S. Army, now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, to serve as the first Enlisted Senior Army Fellow/Advisor at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Steve Payton retired from service in March 2020 and has since worked as a consultant with TopSarge Business solutions providing relevant expertise and insight on Army challenges and opportunities. Steve also worked for TechMasters Inc. as an independent consultant to the Army’s G-3/5/7 Force Management Directorate. Steve holds a Master of Art in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College.